Plasmonic Interferometry Cytokine Detection

­Plasmonic Interferometry Cytokine Detection

Optical interferometry is a valuable tool in fields ranging from fiber optics and biomedical imaging to astronomy. Plasmonics interferometry, which enables the guiding and manipulation of light in devices much smaller than the wavelength of the incident light, makes use of the ability of metal nanostructures to manipulate light at the nanoscale. Our system of plasmonic interferometry enables high-throughput, real-time detection of analytes in fluids, such as glucose in saliva.
Market Opportunity
Current interferometry screening and detection techniques for biologic analytes use low-throughput, highly selective, non-scalable methods that require labeling of the target molecules with a fluorophore. These methods have several drawbacks: prior knowledge of the target molecule is necessary; its structure often needs to be modified to incorporate the label; and the labeled molecule can change how the primary molecule binds to other molecules, reducing the accuracy of the assay.

This invention proposes a new type of nanofabricated biochemical sensor consisting of a dense planar array of submicron-size interferometers milled in a thin metal film, each working as an individually addressable device, integrated on a single lab-on-a-chip. This approach relaxes the labeling requirements of conventional devices, allowing for unprecedented high throughput, universal sensing capabilities in an ultra-compact geometry.
Innovation and Meaningful Advantages
Our plasmonic interferometer consists of a surface with two scattering elements and an aperture between them, such that the two distances are selected to provide controlled interference of light at the aperture. The measured intensity of composite light transmitted through the aperture is used to characterize the analyte. Our label-free sensing uses surface plasmon resonance (SPR) in thin metal films to selectively capture the analyte to be detected. Our real-time and label-free system can be used for sensing a range of analytes including cytokines in blood serum and glucose in saliva. Our methods and systems impact the throughput capabilities of several analyses and assays relevant to human health and currently used in the life sciences, and serve as an alternative high-throughput scheme for faster drug discovery, as well as more efficient identification and screening of novel therapies.

Collaboration Opportunity
We are interested in exploring 1) research collaborations with leading instrumentation companies to further develop this technology; and 2) licensing opportunities with instrumentation companies

Principal Investigator
Domenico Pacifici, PhD
Associate Professor of Engineering
Associate Professor of Physics
Brown University

IP Information
US9,285,314B2; patent issued, 2016-03-15.
Brown Tech ID #2048

Feng J, Siu VS, Roelke A, Mehta V, Rhieu SY, Tayhas G, Palmore R, Pacifici D. Nanoscale Plasmonic Inteferometer for Multispectral, High-Throughput Biochemical Sensing. Nano Lett. 2012;12, 2;602-609.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Brown Technology Innovations
350 Eddy Street - Box 1949
Providence, RI 02903
Domenico Pacifici
Tayhas Palmore
Henri Lezec
Vihang Mehta
Alec Roelke
Vince Siu
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