Moscow: A team of researchers has developed a nanophotonic-microfluidic sensor whose potential applications include cancer detection, monitoring and assessment of treatment response.
The study, published in the journal Optics Letters, indicates that the device can identify gases and liquids dissolved in low concentrations with a high degree of accuracy.
A lab-on-a-chip is a miniature sensor device capable of performing complex biochemical analyses, which is considered one of the most promising approaches for early cancer detection.
Russian researchers have developed a new hybrid nanophotonic-microfluidic sensor for highly sensitive analysis of liquids and gases at very low concentrations in solutions.
“Our study is an important step towards creating a compact lab-on-a-chip device that can not only perform a whole range of blood tests, but also detect cancer biomarkers at an early stage using a very small amount of blood from the patient,” said study researcher Gregory Goltsman of HSE University in Moscow.
The current device consists of nanophotonic optical sensors on a chip in combination with microfluidic channels above the sensor surface.
Liquids or gases pumped through the channels affect the propagation of optical radiation in the highly sensitive nanophotonic devices, changing the spectral characteristics of the output.
By examining these changes, researchers can determine the composition of the sample.
A special feature of the device is the small size of the microfluidic channels that deliver samples to the sensors.
This makes it possible to obtain results even from very small samples, which can be crucial when an on-site analysis is not feasible and samples have to be transported elsewhere for research.