Whispering Gallery Mode Biosensor

Fulfilling the Promise of Single Virus Detection without Labels
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series B: Physics and Biophysics book series (NAPSB)

Abstract

None of civilization’s socio-political catastrophes (e.g. world wars) have caused an equivalent destructive effect on the world’s population as biological pandemics [1]. Exponentially growing pathogens are difficult to contain and eliminate unless they can be detected early on. Some years ago, one of us (S.A.) reflected on this problem as a friend was dying from a viral infection. His friend’s diagnosis came too late; real-time methods for testing for the virus were not available. Fast and early detection on site of an outbreak requires biosensors where ideally individual viral particles produce a quantitative signal. A decision was made to direct the MicroParticle PhotoPhysics Lab toward finding a solution. Our approach was to sense bio-particles using the high sensitivity afforded by the perturbation that an adsorbed molecule has on high Q (107) optical resonances of a microparticle [2]. In particular, bio-particle adsorption was sensed from the associated shift in resonance frequency [3, 4]. Through all the eons of evolution, nature has evolved bio-nano-probes that specifically grab onto protein, DNA and foreign invaders through physio-chemical interactions. Following nature, our approach was to use these bio-nano-probes as surface-bound recognition elements and the microparticle to transduce (report) the interaction [5]. We seek to identify the whole virus by tranducing the immobilization that takes place when a coat protein on its surface interacts with a complementary antibody anchored to the microparticle surface. We set a goal to record binding steps of individual virions that can exceed the experimental noise level [6]. Although field effect techniques using nano-fibers have demonstrated single virion sensing in the past [7], reactive Whispering Gallery Mode (WGM) biosensing adds a new dimensions to what can be learned: the measured wavelength shift enables one to identify the virion size and mass. In the process of working on single particle detection we discovered that light confined in a WGM can manipulate a nanoparticle’s motion and substantially enhance the rate at which these particles are sensed. This effect dimensionally reduces the transport process by forming a carousel of particles that “hunt” for anti-bodies where the sensitivity is greatest (WGM Carousel) [8].

Keywords

Wavelength Shift Resonance Wavelength Whispering Gallery Mode Silica Microsphere Random Sequential Adsorption 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MicroParticle PhotoPhysics Laboratory (MP3L)Polytechnic Institute of NYUBrooklynUSA

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