Article

Dual-core all-fiber integrated immunosensor for detection of protein antigens

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Abstract

An optical fiber interferometric microprobe for detection of specific proteins is presented in this paper. The microprobe is an all-fiber device, which is based on Michelson interferometer configuration, which allows for detection of protein antigens in an analyzed solution thanks to antibodies immobilized on the sensor surface. The interferometer is made of dual core fiber and has a precisely formed arm length difference, achieved by splicing a fragment of polarization maintaining fiber to one of the cores. An all-fiber configuration of the sensor decreases substantially cross-sensitivities to temperature and deformation in comparison to other optical fiber interferometers. Reported sensor has a sensing region on the tip of the interferometer and therefore may be used for point measurements in medicine. The immunosensor and optical measuring system are designed to utilize the most common broadband light sources that operate at a central wavelength of 1.55 µm. The results show that it is possible to detect a protein antigen present in a solution by using an all-fiber interferometer coated with specific antibodies. The resulting peak shift can reaches 0.6 nm, which is sufficient to be measured by an optical spectrum analyzer or a spectrometer. A model allowing for estimation of the value of lower limit of detection for such sensors has been elaborated. The elaborated detection system may act as a framework for detection of various antigens and thus it can find future applications in medical diagnostics.

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