Photonic crystal enhanced fluorescence for early breast cancer biomarker detection

Authors

  • Brian T. Cunningham,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of Bioengineering University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
    • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of Bioengineering University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
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  • Richard C. Zangar

    1. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richmond, WA, USA
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Abstract

Photonic crystal surfaces offer a compelling platform for improving the sensitivity of surface-based fluorescent assays used in disease diagnostics. Through the complementary processes of photonic crystal enhanced excitation and enhanced extraction, a periodic dielectric-based nanostructured surface can simultaneously increase the electric field intensity experienced by surface-bound fluorophores and increase the collection efficiency of emitted fluorescent photons. Through the ability to inexpensively fabricate photonic crystal surfaces over substantial surface areas, they are amenable to single-use applications in biological sensing, such as disease biomarker detection in serum. In this review, we will describe the motivation for implementing high-sensitivity, multiplexed biomarker detection in the context of breast cancer diagnosis. We will summarize recent efforts to improve the detection limits of such assays though the use of photonic crystal surfaces. Reduction of detection limits is driven by low autofluorescent substrates for photonic crystal fabrication, and detection instruments that take advantage of their unique features. (© 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

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