High-sensitivity, high-throughput biosensor capable of detecting biomarkers without external fluorescent labels
This invention describes a combination of technologies that produce a miniature optical biosensor array which is capable of detecting biomarkers without requiring external fluorescent labels. This label-free approach uses a sample placed in a proprietary optical resonator cavity to generate a non-linear effect and provide a digital all-or-nothing signal or quantitatively analyzable response to the equilibrium binding of a biomarker to surface-immobilized bio-recognition element. This signal generated is sufficient to identify active components in genetic and proteomic circuits, and under ideal conditions single molecule sensitivity is possible. This technology eliminates the need for labels, making it possible to perform digital detection of biomarkers on-site and in real-time. Additional benefits of label-free detection include; being able to detect bio-molecules for which fluorescent biomarkers do not exist, and overcoming issues associated with analyte dilution caused by fluorescent biomarker solutions. The optical resonator cavities described here can be constructed using industry proven semiconductor techniques.
Intellectual Property Status: Patent(s) Pending
Provided here is a next generation, biosensor platform, with the potential to replace commercially available fluorescent-label based protein and gene chips. The technology is specifically applicable to the precision fields of genomics and proteomics. It is also functional for the detection of markers for both cancers and viruses, including HIV. The technology provides an industry manufacturable chip that can be used without fluorescent tags. It is a completely novel approach that can be used for high throughput testing providing cutting-edge sensitivity with low cost components.