Over the last decade, optical fibers have been increasingly considered for point-of-care medical diagnostics by ways of so-called lab-on-fiber probes owing to their compact size, flexibility, chemical stability, and remote operation. To ensure the reliability of a medical diagnosis, different biomarkers are usually targeted, whilst a reference is always taken, and this has not been shown with optical fiber sensors yet. Thus, presence of a reference measurement together with the simultaneous detection of more than one analyte with a single fiber probe still represents a challenge.
To tackle this problem, the B-PHOT Brussels Photonics team together with the Electromagnetism and Telecommunication Department of the University of Mons have developed a novel bio-sensor based on a microstructured optical fiber. The small fiber probe for in-situ diagnostics can become an alternative for the time-consuming analysis in bio-chemical labs (see Figure 1). It opens perspectives for a powerful in-situ diagnosis tool that can selectively target multiple analytes such as proteins, viruses, DNA, cells, etc.
Whilst currently available lab-on-fiber probes are able to detect a single biomarker, our solutions extend their capability to simultaneous measurements with multiple biomarkers including a built-in reference to ensure the measurement reliability. Moreover, our fiber provides tunability of the detected refractive index range with the possibility of simultaneous measurements which is not supported by the currently available fiber-based refractometer solutions.