Bio-compatible Random Lasers for Biosensing Applications

Researchers at King’s College London have achieved substantial innovation in the field of biosensing with the concept of sensing by lasing.

 

The researchers at King’s College London have constructed a bio-compatible random laser made out of materials such as silk with a disordered nanostructure that can be used as a novel generation biosensor. This concept of sensing by lasing is a novel innovation in the field of biosensing. It will have applications in areas such as in vivo sensing of biological activity. In a random system, the disordered matrix folds the optical paths inside the medium by multiple scattering, while optical gain provides the amplification that triggers lasing. The working principle of random lasing is the same as conventional lasing but without the need for carefully aligned optical element. The result is an opaque medium in which laser light is generated by flowing and scattering through it. Emission occurs in all direction at specific light wavelengths that can be controlled by designing the disordered medium.

 

Advantages:

 

  • Good signal-to-noise ratio and therefore ability to discern the otherwise hard-to-distinguish small signals resulting from the biochemical interactions and biological processes of interest
  • It can be directly integrated on to a biological surface
  • Ideal scaffolding for further integration of biomolecules as well as living cells due to the open architecture of the porous disordered material
  • Approved for use in humans and is processed by the human body leaving no trace
  • Biodegradable after use
  • Intrinsic nonlinear response for easy discrimination of the presence of element to be sensed
  • No geometrical limitations i.e. it can be modified, stretched or flexed unlike conventional lasers
  • Robust against any shape change
  • Could be used complement or outperform conventional fluorescence-based detection

 

Technical status:

 

A proof of principle prototype has been built and tested

 

IP status:

 

Priority UK patent application has been filed

 

Commercial status:

 

Industry partners are being sought for developing the technology further

 

Patent Information:
Category(s):
Physical Sciences
For Information, Contact:
Mugdha Joshi
IP & Licensing Manager
King's College London
mugdha.joshi@kcl.ac.uk
Inventors:
Riccardo Sapienza
Keywords: