“Microrisonatori Optofluidici Ultra-Sensibili di Tipo “Flow-Through” per Applicazioni Biosensoristiche"


SENS4BIO is a national “Future in Research” MIUR project devoted to the development of ultrasensitive flow-through optofluidic micro-resonators for sensing applications, coordinated by the Dept of Information Engineering of the University of Pisa.

Role: Partner

Activity period: 2013-2017

Research Line: Optical Resonators


This project addresses the novel paradigm of "flow-through" optofluidics for the realization and assessment of ultra-sensitive resonant optical sensors, by also exploiting novel functionalization schemes, such as synthetic polymeric receptors and nanoparticle-based systems for further pushing sensitivity and limit-of-detection (LOD) beyond the state-of-the-art on optical sensors at national and international level. The main objective of this proposal is the development of three "flow-through" optofluidic microresonators, based on different operation principles and on different fabrication technologies, and two functionalization strategies, integrating biological and polymeric receptors with the optofluidic microresonators for the realization ofultra-sensitive optofluidic sensors.

The final objective of the proposal is the assessment of such ultra-sensitive biosensors by optical detection of specific sepsis biomarkers, such as procalcitonin (PCT) and neopterin (NPT), with high sensitivity and low LOD, thus breaking a new ground in the biosensors and Lab-on-Chip fields and, in turn, healthcare andpoint-of-care applications. The choice of sepsis biomarkers as target analytes is suggested by the growing request of physicians for Point-of-Care devices capable ofperforming fast and reliable analysis at patient-level, thus enabling a quick and effective diagnosis and therapy, as opposed to laboratory-level. The discrimination of viral and bacterial sepsis in intensive care patients or the fast identification of the origin of infections is today an essential requirement for physicians.

The three "flow-through" ultra-sensitive optofluidic microresonators developed within the project are:

  • optofluidic photonic crystal microresonator

  • optofluidic microbubble resonator

  • optofluidic ring resonator


Within this project the Chemical and Biochemical Optical Sensor Group has a double task:

Development of an ultrasensitive flow-through optofluidic microresonator consisting of a micro bubble resonator made from commercial glass capillaries, which is hybridly integrated into a robust planar polymeric structure;

Design and realization of biofunctionalised PMMA nanoparticles carrying the biological recognition element capable to react with the sensing layer deposited on the three different microresonators, realized within the project