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Design and simulation of a photonic crystal resonator as a biosensor for point-of-care applications

Design und Simulation eines photonischen Kristall (PC) Resonators für die Anwendung als Biosensor
Yixiong Zhao

Yixiong Zhao received the Bachelor degree in electrical engineering from Beijing Institute of Technology in China in 2012 and the Master degree from RWTH Aachen in Germany in 2017. Since 2018 he has been working in Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems. His main research fields are high frequency bio-sensor and RFID antenna.

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, Kunj Himanshu Vora

Kunj Vora has received her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Mumbai University, India in 2016. Currently, she is pursuing her master’s in biomedical engineering from Hochschule Anhalt. She is completing her master thesis at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems. She holds keen interest in research towards novel diagnostic methods.

, Gerd vom Bögel

Gerd vom Bögel received the Diploma degree in electrical engineering from the University Duisburg in 1992. He joined the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems in Duisburg. He received the Dr.-Ing. degree from the University Duisburg in 1999. At present he is responsible for the business unit of transponder and RF systems at Fraunhofer Institute IMS. His main research topic is in the area of energy harvesting and sensor transponder systems.

, Karsten Seidl

Karsten Seidl (S’05–M’12) studied electrical engineering and information technology at Ilmenau University of Technology, Ilmenau, Germany. Between 2006 and 2011, he was a Ph.D. student in the Microsystem Materials Laboratory, Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK), University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. He has been an R&D Engineer and product manager with Robert Bosch GmbH and Bosch Healthcare Solutions GmbH, Germany, from 2012 and 2018. Since 2018, he is head of the department at the Fraunhofer Institute of Microelectronic Circuitry and Systems (IMS) and professor of micro and nanosystems for medical technology at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. His research focuses on medical implants and highly sensitive optical and electrical biosensors.

and Jens Weidenmüller

Dr. J. Weidenmüller received the Diploma degree in physical engineering from the RheinAhrCampus in Remagen in 2007. In July 2014 he obtained the academic degree (Dr.-Ing.) from the Technical University Chemnitz with the thesis: “Optimization of encircling eddy current sensors for online monitoring of hot rolled round steel bars”. Since 2014 he works at Fraunhofer IMS as a sensor expert and lectures electrical engineering at the Hochschule RuhrWest. 2018 he has become a team leader for the high frequency systems research team with a focus on RFID in metallic environment and mmWave biosensors.

From the journal tm - Technisches Messen

Abstract

Point-of-care (POC) devices are essential for rapid testing of samples for early diagnosis of diseases. The accuracy and the sensitivity of the POC device depend mainly on the biosensors. The currently used POC devices require specialized operating personnel, long sample preparation time and high equipment costs. We aim to explain a bio-sensing concept using a photonic crystal (PC) resonator that would mitigate the drawbacks of the present sensing techniques. Photonic crystals consist of spatially arranged dielectric materials presenting a band gap that prevents electromagnetic waves of certain frequency range to propagate through it. PC resonators have shown to have very high sensitivities for bio-sensing applications at THz frequencies. A PC resonator with a high Q-factor is designed and simulated to detect the changes in the surrounding dielectric permittivity. As an application for detecting specific biomolecules, a protocol for surface functionalization has been explained. This will enable the selective binding of biomolecules from the sample. Shift in resonant frequency and attenuation in magnitude at the peak resonant frequency can be observed from the simulation results. These changes in the resonator properties can be indicative of the presence of a particular biomolecule or pathogen and its concentration within the sample.

Zusammenfassung

Point-of-Care (POC)-Geräte bekommen in der schnellen Früherkennung von Krankheiten eine immer größere Bedeutung. Die derzeit eingesetzten POC-Geräte erfordern jedoch spezialisiertes Bedienpersonal, lange Probenvorbereitungszeiten und hohe Gerätekosten sodass weitere Entwicklungsschritte notwendig sind. Die Genauigkeit und die Empfindlichkeit dieser Geräte hängen maßgeblich von den eingesetzten Biosensoren ab. Hier wird eine alternative Biosensormethode basierend auf einem photonischen Kristall (PC)-Resonator vorstellt, welche Vorteile gegenüber der bisherigen Messtechniken aufweist. Photonische Kristalle bestehen aus räumlich angeordneten dielektrischen Materialien, die eine Bandlücke haben, die es nicht zulässt, dass sich elektromagnetische Wellen bei bestimmten Frequenzen durch sie ausbreiten. PC-Resonatoren können mit sehr hohen Empfindlichkeiten für die Anwendung in der Biosensorik simuliert und entworfen werden. Diese angepassten PC-Resonatoren mit sehr Gütefaktoren messen die Veränderungen der dielektrischen Permittivität in der direkten Umgebung. Für die Erkennung der Biomoleküle ist die Oberfläche des PCs so vorbereitet, dass die Immobilisierung eines Biorezeptors ermöglicht wird, der selektiv an die in der Probe vorhandenen Biomoleküle bindet. Die Simulationsergebnisse zeigen, dass es bei erfolgreicher Bindung an die Oberfläche zu einer Frequenzverschiebung und Dämpfung bei der Resonanzfrequenz kommt, was auf das Vorhandensein dieses Biomoleküls und seine Konzentration hinweist.

About the authors

Yixiong Zhao

Yixiong Zhao received the Bachelor degree in electrical engineering from Beijing Institute of Technology in China in 2012 and the Master degree from RWTH Aachen in Germany in 2017. Since 2018 he has been working in Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems. His main research fields are high frequency bio-sensor and RFID antenna.

Kunj Himanshu Vora

Kunj Vora has received her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Mumbai University, India in 2016. Currently, she is pursuing her master’s in biomedical engineering from Hochschule Anhalt. She is completing her master thesis at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems. She holds keen interest in research towards novel diagnostic methods.

Gerd vom Bögel

Gerd vom Bögel received the Diploma degree in electrical engineering from the University Duisburg in 1992. He joined the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems in Duisburg. He received the Dr.-Ing. degree from the University Duisburg in 1999. At present he is responsible for the business unit of transponder and RF systems at Fraunhofer Institute IMS. His main research topic is in the area of energy harvesting and sensor transponder systems.

Karsten Seidl

Karsten Seidl (S’05–M’12) studied electrical engineering and information technology at Ilmenau University of Technology, Ilmenau, Germany. Between 2006 and 2011, he was a Ph.D. student in the Microsystem Materials Laboratory, Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK), University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. He has been an R&D Engineer and product manager with Robert Bosch GmbH and Bosch Healthcare Solutions GmbH, Germany, from 2012 and 2018. Since 2018, he is head of the department at the Fraunhofer Institute of Microelectronic Circuitry and Systems (IMS) and professor of micro and nanosystems for medical technology at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. His research focuses on medical implants and highly sensitive optical and electrical biosensors.

Jens Weidenmüller

Dr. J. Weidenmüller received the Diploma degree in physical engineering from the RheinAhrCampus in Remagen in 2007. In July 2014 he obtained the academic degree (Dr.-Ing.) from the Technical University Chemnitz with the thesis: “Optimization of encircling eddy current sensors for online monitoring of hot rolled round steel bars”. Since 2014 he works at Fraunhofer IMS as a sensor expert and lectures electrical engineering at the Hochschule RuhrWest. 2018 he has become a team leader for the high frequency systems research team with a focus on RFID in metallic environment and mmWave biosensors.

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Received: 2019-09-06
Accepted: 2019-11-27
Published Online: 2019-12-13
Published in Print: 2020-07-26

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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