Int J Nanomedicine. 2021 Feb 4;16:763-773. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S285125. eCollection 2021.
INTRODUCTION: The sensitive interfacial interaction of liquid crystals (LC) holds potential for precision biosensors. In the past, the developments of LC biosensors were limited by the complicated manufacturing process, which hinders commercialization and wider applications of such devices. In this report, we demonstrate the first nano-structural polymeric stabilized-cholesteric LC (PSCLC) thin films to be a new label-free biosensing technology.
METHODS: The transmission spectra of PSCLC devices were measured by the fiber-optic spectrometer with high-resolution. In addition, a smartphone was set on the stage, and the camera of smartphone was placed and aligned with a set of lenses embedded in the designed stage. To decrease the chromatic and spherical aberrations, an achromatic lens set composition, consisting of both dual-convex lens and concave-plane lens, was applied for measuring and imaging the PSCLC texture. The average and the estimated standard deviation (SD) were used to present quantitative experimental results. The test BSA was immobilized and fulfilled by the ceramic silicon-constructed DMOAP-coated glass in aqueous BSA solutions at 1 mg/mL, 1 µg/mL, and 1 ng/mL.
RESULTS: The fabrication process of PSCLC is much simplified compared to previous LC biosensors. The color of PSCLC biosensor altered with the BSA concentration, making detection result easy to read. The detection limit of 1 ng/mL is achieved for label-free PSCLC biosensor. The PSCLC biosensor was able to successfully detect due to the albumin concentration’s alteration, with a linear range of 1 ng/mL-2 mg/mL. Thus, the label-free-proposed design-integrated nanoscale PSCLCs smartphone-based biosensor could successfully detect BSA in a preclinical urine sample.
CONCLUSION: Finally, we propose a design to integrate the PSCLC biosensor with a smartphone. The PSCLC owns potential for high performance, low cost for detecting various disease biomarkers in home use. Owing to its great potential for high performance and low cost, the PSCLC biosensors can be used as a label-free point-of-care for detecting various disease biomarkers for patients in care homes.