Biofunctional subwavelength optical waveguides for biodetection

Donald J. Sirbuly, Nicholas O Fischer, Shih Chieh J Huang, Alexander B. Artyukhin, Jeffrey B H Tok, Olgica Bakajin, Aleksandr Noy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We report a versatile biofunctional subwavelength photonic device platform for real-time detection of biological molecules. Our devices contain lipid bilayer membranes fused onto metal oxide nanowire waveguides stretched across polymeric flow channels. The lipid bilayers incorporating target receptors are submersed in the propagating evanescent field of the optical cavity. We show that the lipid bilayers in our devices are continuous, have very high mobile fraction, and are resistant to fouling. We also demonstrate that our platform allows rapid membrane exchange. Finally, we use this device to detect the hybridization of specific DNA target sequences in solution to complementary probe DNA strands anchored to the lipid bilayer. This evanescent wave sensing architecture holds great potential for portable, all-optical detection systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-262
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Evanescent field
  • Lipid bilayer waveguide
  • Photonics
  • Sensor
  • Subwavelength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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