In-Situ Optical Bio-Sensing Probe

Abstract/Technology Overview

A novel biosensing platform for the detection of large macromolecules such as proteins being able to operate either in-vivo or in-vitro for medical diagnostic applications, or as a research instrument.

This technology is capable of detecting proteins, viruses, and bacteria for a large range of applications depending on the surface functionalisation (antibodies) in various clinical samples, including undiluted serum without non-specific binding which often results in false-positive results.

The technology is uniquely positioned as a label-free sensing platform exhibiting similar capabilities (real-time kinetic measurement, quantification, and determination of binding constants) compared to more well-known and commercially viable technologies such as Surface Plasmon Resonance as measurements can be performed either in-vitro or in-vivo.

Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

This unique label free bio-sensing platform technology relies on combining the refractive index sensing capability of Whispering Gallery Modes in dye doped spherical micro resonators with the unique light guiding properties of micro structured optical fibres.

The fibre provides a pathway for remote exiting and collection of the Whispering Gallery Modes signal produced by single or multiple microspheres simultaneously, positioned onto one end of the fibre. The specific architecture of the fibre also enables the microsphere to be held in position, anchoring it into one of the fibre holes, running along the entire fibre length. More importantly, this permits easy manipulation and positioning of the microsphere where sensing needs to be done.

The sensing mechanism is based on exploiting the sensitivity of Whispering Gallery Modes toward changes of refractive index at the surface of the dye doped microsphere. Appropriate surface functionalisation of the microsphere surface ensures that only the desired target analyte can bind to the microsphere surface, which in turn produces a wavelength shift of the resonance features proportional to the amount of bound analyte - enabling not only detection but also quantification.

The approach of using dye doped microspheres allows exploiting lasing of the Whispering Gallery Modes which improves the resolution of the sensing platform and enables better performance. The use of multiple microspheres with different surface chemistry allows for either compensation for change of local environments, including non-specific binding in real clinical samples, or for the simultaneous detection of multiple analytes.

Potential Applications

There are multiple potential applications for the In-Situ Optical Bio-Sensing Probe technology, in numerous markets. Some examples of the many potential applications where this technology would be benefical are listed below:

  • Manufacturers of medical devices
  • Point of care applications 
  • Research instruments and tools
  • Biomedical diagnostic tools
  • Bio-sensing platforms
  • Manufacturing fields

Customer Benefit

  • Robust and biocompatible optical detection system
  • Remote detection through the use of optical fibres
  • Non-disruptive technology allowing detection in-vivo or in-vitro
  • Versatile sensing platform
  • Multiplexed sensing capability and ability to perform detection of specific biomolecules in complex biological samples such as undiluted serum

Contact Person

Viraj Perera


UniSA Ventures Pty Ltd

Technology Category
  • Diagnostics
Technology Status
  • Available for Licensing
Technology Readiness Level
  • TRL 3

optical detection system, bio-sensing probe, bio-sensing platform, medical devices