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Sensitivity Analysis of Different Shapes of a Plastic Optical Fiber-Based Immunosensor for Escherichia coli: Simulation and Experimental Results

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Electrical Engineering Program, Photonics and Instrumentation Laboratory, Rio de Janeiro 21.941-901, Brazil
Institute of Advanced Studies (IEAv), S. José dos Campos 12.228-001, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Also with Nanotechnology Engineering Program (UFRJ).
Sensors 2017, 17(12), 2944;
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Hybrid Materials Based Opto-Electronics Sensors)
PDF [5020 KB, uploaded 21 December 2017]


Conventional pathogen detection methods require trained personnel, specialized laboratories and can take days to provide a result. Thus, portable biosensors with rapid detection response are vital for the current needs for in-loco quality assays. In this work the authors analyze the characteristics of an immunosensor based on the evanescent field in plastic optical fibers with macro curvature by comparing experimental with simulated results. The work studies different shapes of evanescent-wave based fiber optic sensors, adopting a computational modeling to evaluate the probes with the best sensitivity. The simulation showed that for a U-Shaped sensor, the best results can be achieved with a sensor of 980 µm diameter by 5.0 mm in curvature for refractive index sensing, whereas the meander-shaped sensor with 250 μm in diameter with radius of curvature of 1.5 mm, showed better sensitivity for either bacteria and refractive index (RI) sensing. Then, an immunosensor was developed, firstly to measure refractive index and after that, functionalized to detect Escherichia coli. Based on the results with the simulation, we conducted studies with a real sensor for RI measurements and for Escherichia coli detection aiming to establish the best diameter and curvature radius in order to obtain an optimized sensor. On comparing the experimental results with predictions made from the modelling, good agreements were obtained. The simulations performed allowed the evaluation of new geometric configurations of biosensors that can be easily constructed and that promise improved sensitivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: biosensor; immunosensor; E. coli; fiber optic sensor; POF biosensor; immunosensor; E. coli; fiber optic sensor; POF

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Rodrigues, D.M.C.; Lopes, R.N.; Franco, M.A.R.; Werneck, M.M.; Allil, R.C.S.B. Sensitivity Analysis of Different Shapes of a Plastic Optical Fiber-Based Immunosensor for Escherichia coli: Simulation and Experimental Results. Sensors 2017, 17, 2944.

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