3D structured interferometric biosensor for food sensing applications
A novel optical label-free biosensing approach is introduced aiming to remove the current limitations of optical biosensors in their application of on-site food analysis. The proposed methodology (GRADual thin film IntErferometry, GRADE) is based on light interferometry employing an illumination source of a few nm spectral width and a 3D micro-patterned sensor surface consisting of multilevel staircase structures, fabricated through grayscale electron beam lithography and appropriate pattern transfer on thick dielectric layer. The formation of the biomolecular adlayer on the 3D structured surface sensor, is monitored with a 2D camera, without the need for broadband illumination sources and spectral analysis instrumentation. Consequently, this novel sensing approach has the potential to enable the cost-efficient monitoring of bioreactions employing a simple optical setup, a low-cost photodetector and light source, thus being an ideal platform for use at the Point-of-Need. In the present study the system is demonstrated for the detection of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), a very potent carcinogen detected in various food categories.