ChBE Seminar Series: Ian M. White
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Room 2108, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
Professor Ganesh Sriram
Optofluidic SERS on Paper for Chemical and Biological Analytics
Ian M. White
Fischell Department of Bioengineering
University of Maryland
As a bio/chemical sensing technique, surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) offers sensitivity comparable to that of fluorescence detection while providing highly specific information about the analyte. Although single molecule identification with SERS was demonstrated over a decade ago, today a need exists to develop practical solutions for point-of-sample and point-of-care SERS systems. In recent years, optofluidic SERS has emerged, in which microfluidic functions are integrated to improve the performance of SERS. Advancements in optofluidic SERS are leading towards portable analytical systems, but the devices are currently too expensive and too cumbersome for limited resource settings. Recently, we demonstrated the fabrication of SERS substrates by inkjet printing silver and gold nanostructures onto paper. Using a low-cost commercial inkjet printer, we inkjet-printed silver nanoparticles with micro-scale precision to form SERS-active biosensors. Using these devices, we have been able to achieve detection limits comparable to conventional nanofabricated substrates. Furthermore, we leverage the fluidic properties to enhance the performance of the SERS devices while also enabling unprecedented ease of use. Paper dipsticks concentrate a relatively large sample volume into a small SERS-active detection region at the tip. Likewise, paper swabs collect samples from a large surface area and concentrate the collected molecules into a SERS sensor on the paper. We will summarize the progress in the fabrication and use of these paper-based optofluidic devices, and will describe their use in practical applications for point-of-sample chemical detection. We will then discuss potential applications in highly sensitive point-of-care biological sensing, including the detection of enzyme activity, biomarker proteins, and pathogens.