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Optical Biosensors For Immunoassays: The Fluorescence Capillary-fill Device.
Published 1987 · Biology, Medicine
This paper reports, for the first time, details of a novel type of optical biosensor for immunoassays, the fluorescence capillary-fill device (FCFD). This is based on a straightforward adaptation of the technology used to mass manufacture liquid-crystal display (LCD) cells to give cheap disposable immunosensors. These merely require contact by the sample to give a result in about a minute, and use certain principles of optical fibres and waveguides to avoid the need for operator attention, for physical separation methods or for washing steps. After a very brief introductory review and classification of optical biosensors, the main features of the FCFD and its associated instrumentation are described. The optical characteristics of the FCFD are then described, followed by accounts of the immunoassay method, the measurement system used in the experiments, the fabrication of FCFD sensors and a detailed description of the design of a competitive immunoassay for human immunoglobulin G (hIgG). The experimental details and the results of a first attempt at such an assay are then presented and discussed. It is concluded that the demonstration of this assay is a significant achievement, because the format of the FCFD, its manufacturing process and its instrumentation are completely novel. Certain problem areas have been identified and quantified; intended further work on these is outlined.