An evanescent wave biosensor--Part I: Fluorescent signal acquisition from step-etched fiber optic probes. Academic Article uri icon


  • A fiber-optic biosensor capable of remote continuous monitoring has recently been designed. To permit sensing at locations separate from the optoelectronic instrumentation, long optical fibers are utilized. An evanescent wave immuno-probe is prepared by removing the cladding near the distal end of the fiber and covalently attaching antibodies to the core. Probes with a radius unaltered from that of the original core inefficiently returned the signal produced upon binding the fluorescent-labelled antigen. To elucidate the limiting factors in signal acquisition, a series of fibers with increasingly reduced probe core radius was examined. The results were consistent with the V-number mismatch, the difference in mode carrying capacity between the clad and unclad fiber, being a critical factor in limiting signal coupling from the fiber probe. However, it was also delineated that conditions which conserve excitation power, such that power in the evanescent wave is optimized, must also be met to obtain a maximal signal. The threshold sensitivity for the optimal step-etched fiber probe was improved by over 20-fold in an immunoassay, although, it was demonstrated that signal acquisition decreased along the probe length, suggesting that a sensor region of uniform radius is not ideal.

published proceedings

  • IEEE Trans Biomed Eng

author list (cited authors)

  • Anderson, G. P., Golden, J. P., & Ligler, F. S.

citation count

  • 49

complete list of authors

  • Anderson, GP||Golden, JP||Ligler, FS

publication date

  • June 1994