Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Photonics: Sensing on the way

Date:
August 2, 2012
Source:
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Summary:
Hollow optical fibers containing light-emitting liquids hold big promises for biological sensing applications.

Schematic illustration of a hollow fiber. The chemiluminescent liquid in the core (yellow) is guided through the fiber, also with help of further hole structures (dark blue).
Credit: A*STAR

Hollow optical fibers containing light-emitting liquids hold big promises for biological sensing applications.

Related Articles


Processing biological samples on a small substrate the size of a computer chip is becoming a common task for biotechnology applications. Given the small working area, however, probing samples on the substrate with light can be difficult. To address this issue, Xia Yu and co-workers at the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology have now developed an optical fiber system that is able to deliver light to microfluidic chips with high efficiency.

"Our compact optical fibers are designed for use with high-throughput detection systems," says Yu. "They are ideal for use in space-restrictive locations."

A common way of probing biological samples is by light. In this method, the sample is excited by an external light source and the light emitted in response is detected, which provides a unique fingerprint of the substance. Conventional techniques are able to deliver light to samples and probe the response, but they are not very efficient at probing a small sample volume. A solution to this is to use optical fibers that are able to guide light to small spaces. The drawback with this technique, however, has been that it can be difficult to insert the external probe light into the optical fiber with sufficient efficiencies.

Yu and her co-workers have now circumvented this problem by using optical fibers with a hollow core (see image). The empty hollow core can be filled with liquids -- in this case, with chemiluminescent solutions. The liquid is important to promote the transport of light through the core. In addition, these solutions consist of two liquids that when brought together initiate a chemical reaction that emits light. If such a solution is placed directly within the hollow core the problem of coupling light into the fiber is circumvented. This not only avoids external light sources but also promotes an established technology.

"The use of chemical luminescence is a common technique for a variety of detection assays in biology," says Yu. "By incorporating the emission mechanism into optical fibers, we can use it as a light source for sensing applications in microfluidics systems."

First tests for such sensing applications are already underway, although some challenges remain. For example, there might be losses in the light emitted by the fluid if the emitted light is not perfectly confined within the fiber. Such problems can be solved through improved fiber designs and an appropriate choice of materials, and applications of these fibers for microfluidic systems are promising.

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xia Yu, Khoi Seng Lok, Yien Chian Kwok, Ying Zhang, Huifeng Wei, Weijun Tong. Chemiluminescence detection in liquid-core microstructured optical fibers. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 2011; 160 (1): 800 DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2011.08.065

Cite This Page:

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Photonics: Sensing on the way." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120802150344.htm>.
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). (2012, August 2). Photonics: Sensing on the way. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120802150344.htm
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Photonics: Sensing on the way." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120802150344.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Magnetic Motors, Not Cables, Power This Elevator

Magnetic Motors, Not Cables, Power This Elevator

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) Imagine an elevator without cables. ThyssenKrupp has drafted an elevator concept that would cruise on linear magnetic motors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins