Thanks to advanced semiconductor microfabrication technology, chip-scale integration and miniaturization of lab-on-a-chip components, silicon-based optical biosensors have made significant progress for the purpose of point-of-care diagnosis. In this review, we provide an overview of the state-of-the-art in evanescent field biosensing technologies including interferometer, microcavity, photonic crystal, and Bragg grating waveguide-based sensors. Their sensing mechanisms and sensor performances, as well as real biomarkers for label-free detection, are exhibited and compared. We also review the development of chip-level integration for lab-on-a-chip photonic sensing platforms, which consist of the optical sensing device, flow delivery system, optical input and readout equipment. At last, some advanced system-level complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) chip packaging examples are presented, indicating the commercialization potential for the low cost, high yield, portable biosensing platform leveraging CMOS processes.
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