Real-time Diagnostic Testing is usually done with an optical label-free sensor for the purpose of taking biological samples like saliva or urine. They are widely used in the healthcare system due to their sensitive nature. However, to make them sensitive, a lot of time and resources are utilized.
Recently, a research team has mixed photonics with surface science and found an alternative to the problem of huge resources. They looked at a sample’s optical dispersion of the refractive index that can probably act as a fingerprint, thus enable healthcare personnel to track changes in the composition.
The team has introduced a sensing method that is sensitive, precise, and reliable in understanding the sample's impurities. It uses in–fiber multispectral optical sensing (IMOS) to take liquid biological samples in both types of modes, i.e., static and real – times modes. This sensing method adds a new method in the market of Infectious Disease Diagnostic Testing and could be used for real-time simulations and diagnostic purposes of various biological processes.
This new sensing approach is based on Hollow-core microstructured optical fiber (HC – MOF). HC – MOF is basically an optical fiber that limits light within the hollow core, surrounded by a microstructured cladding. The liquid goes through chambers inside the fiber, and then an interpretation occurs of the spectral shifts of minima and maxima in the transmission spectrum. The interpretation happens in a signal form in regards to the chemical composition of the sample. This method does not require an external cavity or interferometer hence, is easy and inexpensive.
The researchers tested this method’s performance on the concentration of bovine serum albumin, dissolved in water and phosphate-buffered saline solution. This solution is usually used in such experiments. The resolution was shown as 1 gram of BSA in 1 liter of liquid, which is close in proximity to the accuracy of standard albumin tests.
This concept can be considered as a platform for the intra-operative biomarkers analysis of various kinds. But to achieve that, tests on other bioanalytes need to be taken. Moreover, modification of the hollow core fiber may be needed to increase specificity. In the future, trials of these devices will work as the primary step of the true ‘bench – to – bedside’ approach.
The development of in–fiber multispectral optical sensing has opened gates to a better, faster, cheaper, and more reliable analysis of blood and other bodily liquids. This new development with the application of photonics and surface science will lead to a more timely diagnosis of various diseases and other abnormal conditions.
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