Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 407, Issue 14, pp 3965–3974 | Cite as

Angularly resolved ellipsometric optical biosensing by means of Bloch surface waves

  • Alberto Sinibaldi
  • Aleksei Anopchenko
  • Riccardo Rizzo
  • Norbert Danz
  • Peter Munzert
  • Paola Rivolo
  • Francesca Frascella
  • Serena Ricciardi
  • Francesco Michelotti
Research Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Direct Optical Detection


In label-free biosensing, a continuous improvement of the limit of detection is necessary to resolve the small change of the surface refractive index produced by interacting biomolecules at a very small concentration. In the present work, optical sensors based on one-dimensional photonic crystals supporting Bloch surface waves are proposed and adopted for label-free optical biosensing. We describe the implementation of an angularly resolved ellipsometric optical sensing scheme based on Bloch surface waves sustained by tantala/silica multilayers. The angular operation is obtained using a focused beam at fixed wavelength and detection of the angular reflectance spectrum by means of an array detector. The results show that the experimental limit of detection for a particular photonic crystal design is 6.5 × 10−7 refractive index units (RIU)/Hz1/2 and further decrease could be obtained. For the first time, we report on the practical application of this technique to a cancer biomarker protocol that aims at the detection of a specific glycoprotein (angiopoietin 2) involved in angiogenesis and inflammation processes.

Graphical Abstract

Camera image showing the resonance associated to the excitation of a Bloch surface wave in the two different regions of a biochip


Optical biosensing Label-free biosensors Photonic crystals Bloch surface waves Ellipsometry Biophotonics 



This research has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement no. 318035—Project BILOBA ( The authors gratefully acknowledge Agostino Occhicone from Sapienza University of Rome (Italy) for his assistance with experimental work, Frank Sonntag and Stefan Schmieder from Fraunhofer IWS (Germany) for their fabrication of the PDMS fluidic cell and Emmanuel Maillart from HORIBA Jobin Yvon (France) and Lucia Napione from the University of Torino (Italy) for their fruitful discussions.

Supplementary material

216_2015_8591_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (10 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 9 kb)
216_2015_8591_MOESM2_ESM.mpg (23.6 mb)
ESM 2 (MPG 24138 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberto Sinibaldi
    • 1
  • Aleksei Anopchenko
    • 1
  • Riccardo Rizzo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Norbert Danz
    • 2
  • Peter Munzert
    • 2
  • Paola Rivolo
    • 3
  • Francesca Frascella
    • 3
  • Serena Ricciardi
    • 3
  • Francesco Michelotti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Basic and Applied Science for EngineeringSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Engineering IOFJenaGermany
  3. 3.Department of Applied Science and TechnologyPolitecnico di TorinoTorinoItaly

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