Angelopoulou M, Makarona E, Salapatas A, Misiakos K, Synolaki E, Ioannidis A, Chatzipanagiotou S, Ritvos MA, Pasternack A, Ritvos O, Petrou PS, Kakabakos SE
Biosens Bioelectron 215 (-) 114570 [2022-07-12; online 2022-07-12]
Silicon photonic probes based on broad-band Mach-Zehnder interferometry are explored for the first time as directly immersible immunosensors alleviating the need for microfluidics and pumps. Each probe includes two U-shaped waveguides allowing light in- and out-coupling from the same chip side through a bifurcated fiber and a mechanical coupler. At the opposite chip side, two Mach-Zehnder interferometers (MZI) are located enabling real-time monitoring of binding reactions by immersion of this chip side into a sample. The sensing arm windows of the two MZIs have different length resulting in two distinct peaks in the Fourier domain, the phase shift of which can be monitored independently through Fast Fourier Transform of the output spectrum. The photonic probes analytical potential was demonstrated through detection of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in human serum samples. For this, one MZI was functionalized with the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 Spike 1 protein, and the other with bovine serum albumin to serve as reference. The biofunctionalized probes were immersed for 10 min in human serum sample and then for 5 min in goat anti-human IgG Fc specific antibody solution. Using a humanized rat antibody against SARS-CoV-2 RBD, a detection limit of 20 ng/mL was determined. Analysis of human serum samples indicated that the proposed sensor discriminated completely non-infected/non-vaccinated from vaccinated individuals, and the antibodies levels determined correlated well with those determined in the same samples by ELISA. These results demonstrated the potential of the proposed sensor to serve as an efficient tool for expeditious point-of-care testing.