Interferometric optical fiber microcantilever beam biosensor

T. Wavering, S. Meller, M. Evans, C. Pennington, M. Jones, R. Van Tassell, K. Murphy, W. Velander, E. Valdes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


With the proliferation of biological weapons, the outbreak of food poisoning occurrences, and the spread of antibiotic resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria, the demand has arisen for portable systems capable of rapid, specific, and quantitative target detection. The ability to detect minute quantities of targets will provide the means to quickly assess a health hazardous situation so that the appropriate response can be orchestrated. Conventional test results generally require hours or even several days to be reported, and there is no chance for real-time feedback. An interferometric optical fiber microcantilever beam biosensor has successfully demonstrated real time detection of target molecules. The microcantilever biosensor effectively combines advanced technology from silicon micromachining, optical fiber sensors, and biochemistry to create a novel detection device. This approach utilizes affinity coatings on micromachined cantilever beams to attract target molecules. The presence of the target molecule causes bending in the cantilever beam, which is monitored using an optical displacement system. Dose-response trials have shown measured responses at nanogram/ml concentrations of target molecules. Sensitivity is expected to extend from the nanogram to the picogram range of total captured mass as the microcantilever sensors are optimized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-16
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Biosensor
  • Extrinsic Fabry-Perot interferometer
  • Fiber optic sensors
  • MEMS
  • Microcantilever beam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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