The aim of the Biosensing Lab is the application of silicon photonics as sensors for biological analysis. The general concept of such devices consist in an array of active sites functionalized with bioreceptors (DNA-aptamers or antibodies) to provide specific signals to detect the presence of the target analyte.

The lab is ready both for the labeled and label-free detection approach. In the first case we can collect the fluorescent signal of marked analyte either through integrated waveguides or through a CMOS photodetector array. In the second case, the analyte signal is obtained in real-time through the transmission spectra of dedicated photonic elements such as ring-resonators or Mach-Zehnder interferometers.

A dedicated fluidic handling setup is available, which can dispense volumes as low as 1 microliter with flow rates as low as 5 nanoliter per minute.


The laboratory equipment consists of:

Light Sources: Littman / Metcalf tunable near-infrared laser (760-795nm), free-space and pigtailed single mode polarization maintaining VCSELs (850 nm), pigtailed superluminescent diode (840 nm). ped with instrumentation for real-time transmission spectroscopy, together with a fluid handling and dispensing system.

Detectors: 5x fiber-coupled amplified Si-detectors, 2x free-space Si-detectors. Visible Camera. Fiber based devices: Variable Optical Attenuators (VOA), polarization controllers, 50/50 and 90/10 splitters, fiber optic couplers, fiber arrays (6 and 8 fibers per array), 2x 6-axis motorized positioning stages.

Electronics: benchtop and USB-based oscilloscopes, 1x function generator, 1x power amplifier, 1x 2-channels TEC temperature controller. All the devices are controlled and monitored with a computer.

Fluid handling: 1x continuous flow programmable pump, 1x 6-port injection valve, 1x calibrated sample loop, 5x precision syringes, fused silica and PTFE capillaries (ID 150 μm), several unions and fittings. PDMS and PTFE based microfluidics.