Plasmonic detection of biomarkers

This research line aims to establish a highly sensitive liquid biopsy based on plasmonic sensing. Additionally, we utilize the method for food control and measurement of environmental conditions.

A great challenge of sensors based on propagating surface plasmons is to achieve single (bio)molecule selectivity and sensitivity. Beyond a certain limit, state-of-the-art instrumentation and data processing methods are not appropriate for the optimization of sensitivity. The limitations are caused by the technological components and light-matter interaction based on purely propagating plasmons on flat metal surfaces.

The aim of this project is to improve the sensitivity and selectivity of a plasmonic systems using three approaches: (i) optimization of the Gaussian beam at the metal-dieletric interface by introducing optical elements for beam shaping, (ii) generation of hybrid plasmons by introducing nanostructured surfaces, and (iii) optimization of self-assembly processes for biofunctionalization and immobilization of antibodies in an accurate manner to increase the accessibility of the antibody to the antigen.