Recent developments in the design and fabrication of nanometer scale optical devices offer a new technology for the monitoring of biological events. In particular, we propose to exploit these developments to create plasmonic sensing elements and demonstrate their utility for monitoring biological binding events. Because the sensing elements are small, just a few tens of microns on a side, they can be integrated with microfluidic devices to provide a platform for performing parallel and/or multiplex investigations. This technology promises to displace the conventional surface plasmon resonance (SPR) methodology for studying biological interactions, hence its creation and development will have a significant impact on biological and biomedical research. We will demonstrate the capabilities of this new technology by investigating aspects of glycerol metabolism and the specific protein-protein interactions that are essential in its regulation. Through rational design we will prepare specific chemical surface modification and use it to study aspects of this important biological pathway. However, we anticipate that the technology will be broader and by creating plasmonic devices that are easily integrated into microfluidic platforms we will create the fundamental technological foundation that is required to fully exploit plasmonic processes in sensing biological events, leading to a variety of applications in healthcare and life sciences research. This platform will make possible the creation of analytical tools for the preparation, detection, and analysis of proteins that are expressed at low abundance and/or transiently, obtained from biological fluids and cells.
(provided by applicant): We are exploiting new developments in photonics and nanotechnology to create a new type of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) spectroscopy. Although conventional SPR is widely used in biomedical research, the proposed technology promises to dramatically grow that use in research and expand its use to medical diagnostics. Because this technology can be integrated with a microfluidic platform we will enable the creation of analytical tools for the preparation, detection, and analysis of proteins that are expressed at low abundance and/or transiently, obtained from biological fluids and cells.