Back to Journals » International Journal of Nanomedicine » Volume 10 » Special Issue on diverse applications in Nano-Theranostics

Optical birefringence of liquid crystals for label-free optical biosensing diagnosis

Authors Nguyen TT, Han G, Jang C, Ju H

Received 9 May 2015

Accepted for publication 20 June 2015

Published 25 August 2015 Volume 2015:10(Special Issue on diverse applications in Nano-Theranostics) Pages 25—32


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Webster

Tan Tai Nguyen,1 Gyeo-Re Han,2 Chang-Hyun Jang,1,2 Heongkyu Ju1,3,4

1Department of Bionano Technology, 2Department of Nano-Chemistry, 3Department of Nano-Physics, Gachon University, Seongnam-City, 4Neuroscience Institute, Gil Hospital, Incheon, South Korea

Purpose: We present a polarization-sensitive optical detection platform for label-free quantitative optical biosensing diagnosis using liquid crystals (LCs). This is capable of determining quantitatively the optical birefringence of optical cells containing LCs, whose orientation depends on the immobilized biomolecules.
Patients and methods: This technique uses a polarization-dependent double-port detection without any polarizer at a single wavelength and removes the need of aligning optical cells of LCs in the azimuthal direction, with respect to the light path through the optical cell. Thus, this technique enables a stand-alone detection in a relatively compact format without an additional optical instrument, such as a retardation compensator, a Michael–Levy chart, and a spectrophotometer, in order to determine the optical birefringence quantitatively.
Results: We demonstrate that bovine serum albumin immobilized on the gold surface of the cell hybrid interfaces that support both homeotropic and planar anchoring of LCs causes optical phase retardation change which can be determined quantitatively. We also provide estimation of the zenithal orientation of LCs near the gold surface of the hybrid interfaces, based on the phase retardation determined. The estimated limit of bovine serum albumin detection is approximately 2.1 µM.
Conclusion: This optical technique with LCs can serve an optical platform for label-free quantitative diagnosis of proteins in a real time manner.

Keywords: biological sensors, LC orientation, protein sensing, tag-free diagnosis

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]