Handheld Chem/Biosensor Using Extreme Conformational Changes in Designed Binding Proteins to Enhance Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR)
Phoebus Optoelectronics LLC New York United States
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We propose the development of a highly sensitive handheld chembiosensor device using a novel class of engineered proteins, designed to undergo extreme conformational changes upon binding their target, which in turn cause extreme changes in refractive index in the protein layer. These proteins are attached to a detector chip with a structured metasurface, to translate the refractive index change into an enhanced shift in surface plasmon resonances SPR, thereby improving the sensitivity of the overall detector relatively to current commercially available SPR systems. Theoretical calculations have demonstrated the potential of the conformational changes in the engineered proteins to provide the desired change in refractive index. A plasmonic chip with a simple grating metasurface structure has been designed to maximize the SPR shift, and a prototype chip has been fabricated. A prototype for the overall device housing has also been fabricated, and all other required optical components, which are commercially available, have been assembled. This proposed device holds considerable promise as a low-cost, highly sensitive, field-deployable detection system for chemical and biological toxins.