Silicon Photonic Biosensors for the Phenotypic and Serologic Characterization of Blood
Kirk, James Thomas
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In recent years, silicon photonic biosensors, including microring resonator arrays, have been investigated for numerous applications in biosensing. As a nascent technology for biomolecule sensing, the development of silicon photonic biosensing platforms must address inherent challenges posed by complex blood-based biological assays for future adoption in a clinical or commercial setting. This dissertation investigates methods and approaches to apply silicon photonic biosensors for the phenotypic and serologic characterization of human blood samples. The limitations imposed by current blood typing methods are outlined in detail, with a focus on opportunities for biosensing platforms to address shortcomings in current practice. In particular, we focus on the development of surface-capture based approaches to establish alternative methods to conventional agglutination-based blood typing assays. To this end, zwitterionic surface coating strategies are implemented on arrays of silicon microring resonator biosensors to enable analyte detection in undiluted human plasma. Furthermore, novel methods for high-throughput and high-density sensor functionalization are established using a non-contact inkjet printer. Toward improved blood typing assays, microring resonator arrays are used to quantitatively detect levels of isohemagglutinins in human plasma samples. Finally, cell phenotyping based on ABO antigen status is examined on microring resonators to study the performance of evanescent field-based sensors for specific particle detection. The results of this dissertation highlight the utility of silicon photonic biosensors for applications in modern laboratory assays, and outline the necessary future work required for adoption in a clinical or hospital setting.
- Bioengineering