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SERS biosensors based on special optical fibers for clinical diagnosis

Abstract : Despite important breakthroughs in biosensing, we are still in need of new sensors that would facilitate the early detection of severe diseases such as cancer. Classical tissue biopsy remains the gold standard in many cases. Although this approach has shown its potential, it remains invasive for the patients and the detection techniques are either tedious or lack the sensitivity to detect the disease at an early stage. Raman spectroscopy has demonstrated its interests for biosensing. Its ability to characterize the chemical nature, structure and the orientation of an analyte makes it an ideal candidate. The sharp Raman peaks of a molecule can be seen as a true fingerprint. Regrettably, Raman scattered signal is extremely weak. This limitation was overcome by surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), since it drastically increases the Raman scattered signal while maintaining the sharp peak of the fingerprint spectrum of a molecule. Unfortunately, most of the current SERS substrates are 2D nano-roughened metal surfaces or colloidal nanoparticles, which lack the sensitivity and reliability in measurement with poor repeatability and reproducibility in the data. In the recent years, special optical fibers have been used as SERS platforms. They feature holes that run along their entire length. These holes allow for the analyte to be incorporated inside the fiber. Thus, such platform represents a promising alternative to planar substrates since the analyte and the excitation light can interact for longer length inside the fibers. In addition, optical fibers are very flexible, compact and allow for low-loss light guiding. Therefore, such fiber sensors exhibit the outstanding detection abilities of SERS, the advantages of optical fibers and improved sensitivity and reliability. In this manuscript, we aim to create a biosensing platform that could be routinely used in a clinical setting. For that, we propose to optimize the features of an already reported fiber topology. This allows us to increase its sensitivity while simultaneously improving its reliability and practicability. With this improved sensor, for the first time, we could detect the biomarker for ovarian cancer in clinical cyst fluids, which allowed us to differentiate the stage of the cancer. Subsequently, we propose a novel fiber topology, specifically designed to further increase the sensitivity of SERS-based fiber probes. This is achieved by increasing the surface of interaction compared to standard fiber sensors. For that, the core diameter is significantly increased and the amount of light that interacts with the analyte is precisely controlled. We envision that such functionalized fiber sensors could be incorporated inside a biopsy needle to create a two-in-one sensor for body fluid collection and readout that can eventually overcome the limitations associated with existing biopsy needle platforms, which demands for two-step sample collection and readout.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - 5:00:18 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - 3:23:58 AM


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  • HAL Id : tel-03171103, version 1



Flavien Beffara. SERS biosensors based on special optical fibers for clinical diagnosis. Optics / Photonic. Université de Limoges, 2021. English. ⟨NNT : 2021LIMO0009⟩. ⟨tel-03171103⟩



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