The early detection of diseases is the key to improving survival rates of patients and reducing economic impacts. Point of care diagnosis is the time critical solution for the early detection of diseases accomplished by staging effective diagnosis tools near the patient, either at the patient?s bedside or at a physician?s office, to monitor and diagnose the patient?s health and wellness without the costly and time-consuming processes necessary when using centralized laboratories. The objective of this proposed research is to develop a novel optical cavity biosensor using chained differential detection for the purpose of point of care diagnosis. Optical cavity based biosensors are by nature very promising for point of care diagnosis due to their label-free operation, low cost, high sensitivity, and high selectivity. On top of the intrinsic benefits of optical cavity based biosensors, the team introduces (1) a three laser diode system to accomplish multiplexability, (2) a differential detection method to enhance its sensitivity, (3) a chained mechanism to increase the linear dynamic range significantly, and (4) a simple cavity structure which is easy to integrate with a sample handling system such as microfluidics. Successful completion of the proposed research project will result in a promising platform for a point of care biosensor that can be used for early detection of diseases and possibly create a new paradigm of medical diagnosis.
For general public:
The goal of this research is to develop a low cost and highly sensitive device which will test for multiple diseases using a small amount of a biological sample, usually blood. The design is composed of a biosensor with simple two reflecting mirror structure (optical resonance cavity), constructed using well known fabrication processes. The simple design of the device ensures that it will be low cost, thus making it accessible to patients in both developed and developing countries. Since the early detection of diseases is the key to treating them effectively, it is crucial for patients to be tested regularly. This device will enable tests to be conducted by the patient in the home or at a physician?s office, in lieu of extensive and time consuming tests, allowing the patient to regularly monitor for the presence of multiple diseases. Enabling the patient to test his/herself regularly will allow diseases to be discovered early and allow for more effective and less expensive treatments.