Multiplexed cancer biomarker detection using quartz-based photonic crystal surfaces

Cheng-Sheng Huang, Vikram Chaudhery, Anusha Pokhriyal, Sherine George, James Polans, Meng Lu, Ruimin Tan, Richard C. Zangar, Brian T. Cunningham*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


A photonic crystal (PC) surface is demonstrated as a high-sensitivity platform for detection of a panel of 21 cancer biomarker antigens using a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) microarray format. A quartz-based PC structure fabricated by nanoimprint lithography, selected for its low autofluorescence, supports two independent optical resonances that simultaneously enable enhancement of fluorescence detection of biomarkers and label-free quantification of the density of antibody capture spots. A detection instrument is demonstrated that supports fluorescence and label-free imaging modalities, with the ability to optimize the fluorescence enhancement factor on a pixel-by-pixel basis throughout the microarray using an angle-scanning approach for the excitation laser that automatically compensates for variability in surface chemistry density and capture spot density. Measurements show that the angle-scanning illumination approach reduces the coefficient of variation of replicate assays by 20-99% compared to ordinary fluorescence microscopy, thus supporting reduction in limits of detectable biomarker concentration. Using the PC resonance, biomarkers in mixed samples were detectable at the lowest concentrations tested (2.1-41 pg/mL), resulting in a three-log range of quantitative detection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1126-1133
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 17 Jan 2012


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