Jun 13 – 19, 2015
University of Alberta
America/Edmonton timezone
Welcome to the 2015 CAP Congress! / Bienvenue au congrès de l'ACP 2015!

Protein Biosensing with Fluorescent-Core Microcapillaries

Jun 16, 2015, 4:45 PM
NINT Taylor room (University of Alberta)

NINT Taylor room

University of Alberta

Oral (Student, In Competition) / Orale (Étudiant(e), inscrit à la compétition) Condensed Matter and Materials Physics / Physique de la matière condensée et matériaux (DCMMP-DPMCM) T3-1 Materials characterization: electrical, optical, thermal (DCMMP) / Caractérisation des matériaux: électrique, optique, thermique (DPMCM)


Mr Stephen Lane (University of Alberta)


Whispering gallery modes (WGMs) are the electromagnetic resonances of dielectric spheres, cylinders, or rings. The WGM wavelengths can shift when the resonant field interacts with a local analyte fluid. This work demonstrates a fluorescent core microcapillary that utilizes WGMs for biosensing applications. This device consists of a glass microcapillary with a 50-μm-diameter inner channel. The channel wall is coated with a film composed of fluorescent silicon quantum dots (SiQDs). Because the SiQD film has a higher index of refraction than the glass capillary wall, it can support cylindrical WGMs. The QD fluorescence spectrum thus consists of a set of sharp peaks at the WGM resonance wavelengths. Part of the WGM field extends into the capillary channel where it samples the fluids pumped inside; thus the cavity resonance wavelengths in the QD fluorescence spectrum depend on the channel medium. The sensitivity of the WGM wavelengths varied between 3 and 24 nm per refractive index unit, depending on the SiQD film thickness. Biosensing with this device was then demonstrated using the standard biotin-avidin system. The QD film in the capillary channel was coated with alternating charged polyelectrolyte (PE) layers with exposed amines for attaching biotin. Biotin in turn has a high specific affinity for the neutravidin protein. These biotinylated PE layers were found to capture neutravidin, yielding a detection limit of 6 nM and an equilibrium association constant of 1.1 x 106 M-1 for biotin-neutravidin in this sensor. Several “blank” runs indicate minimal nonspecific binding. Attractive features of this device include a high degree of physical robustness and minimal equipment requirements (e.g., a tuneable laser is not needed to scan the cavity modes). Future work will aim to increase the so-far moderate detection limit, potentially by improving the device sensitivity via finer control over the SiQD film thickness.

Primary author

Mr Stephen Lane (University of Alberta)


Prof. Al Meldrum (University of Alberta) Dr Alexandre Francois (University of Adelaide) Mr Peter West (University of British Columbia)

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