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.

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 July 24, 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 July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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