The enhancement of a liquid-based fluorescence assay is demonstrated, using the resonant electric fields from a photonic crystal (PC) surface. Using a molecular beacon nucleic acid fluorescence resonant energy transfer (FRET) probe for a specific miRNA sequence, an 8x enhancement of the fluorescence emission signal is shown. The approach may be utilized for any liquid-based fluorescence assay for applications in point-of-care diagnostics, environmental monitoring, or pathogen detection.
(Picture: Y. Tan, E. Sutanto, A. G. Alleyne, and B. T. Cunningham, pp. 266–275, in this issue)