Change detection in (bio)chemical liquids with ultrasensitive label-free and immobilization-free sensors operating the GHz-THz range

Johan Stiens, Vladimir Matvejev, Yuchen Zhang, Guonqiang He, Cathleen De Tandt, Dominique Maes, Debby Mangelings, Sven Declerck, Dan Mihăilescu, Maria Alexandra Mernea

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperResearch


In a solution comprising a solvent (predominantly water), buffers, and solvated biomolecules complex biophysical and biochemical interactions can take place due to the existence of permanent and induced charges and dipoles, hydrogen bonds, hydrophilic and hydrophobic species, phonon vibrations which depend on the conformations and rigidity of the components, ... The dielectric response of this solution to EM waves in the (sub)-THz waves will dependent on the relative concentration of the individual components, but also on their hydration shells and their interaction strengths. Any (tiny) change in the concentrations or interaction strength due to an external perturbation can be monitored with sub-THz waves, when one disposes over an ultra-sensitive biosensor which can cope with the high absorption properties of water in this frequency range.
In this presentation we will discuss the operation principle and the technological implementation of a novel generic, label-free, immobilization-free (bio)chemical sensor with world-record sensitivities in the sub-THz range for the characterization of micro and nano-liter liquids. Benchmarking of alcohol-water mixtures yields a dynamic signal change of +100 dB. A multitude of biological, pharmaceutical and biochemical applications will be discussed ranging from monitoring antibody-antigen interactions, PCR reactions, protein denaturation and crystallization, quality control of suspensions. We will compare this novel measurement technology with commercial analytical instruments such a SPR, UV-spectroscopy, etc. Some future tracks towards high throughput screening will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication4th International Symposium on Sensor Science
Place of PublicationBasel, Switzerland
PublisherMDPI AG
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2015
Event4th International Symposium on Sensor Science - Basel, Switzerland
Duration: 13 Jul 201515 Jul 2015


Conference4th International Symposium on Sensor Science


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