On-chip label-free biomolecular capturing and detection using integrated optical micro-resonators
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The objective of this research is to investigate and demonstrate compact lab-on-a-chip (LOC) sensor for the post translational modification (PTM) profiling of the proteins used as biomarkers, for early cancer detection. The LOC sensor comprises of an on-chip pre-concentration and filtering device to isolate the targeted low-abundance proteins form the complex input samples and an integrated photonic sensor microarray for profiling the molecular structures of the isolated protein epitopes. The motivation of this work is extracted from the inability of conventional affinity-based pre-concentration and separation techniques for elucidating PTMs of the proteins, and the unavailability of LOC sensors for this task. The multi-disciplinary research has been focused towards the integration of functional proteomics, microfluidics, and nanofabrication, employing principles of theoretical modeling and simulations, microfluidics, surface chemistry, and nano-optics for the realization of a novel integrated LOC platform for pre-concentration, filtration, and label-free detection of proteins and biomarkers.