Detection and trapping of molecules can be achieved with optical fibers directly located within the fluidic microchannel. This paper examines the recent emergence of miniaturized optical fiber based sensing and actuating devices that have been successfully integrated into fluidic microchannels that are part of microfluidic and lab-on-chip systems. Fluidic microsystems possess the advantages of reduced sample volumes, faster and more sensitive biological assays, multi-sample and parallel analysis, and are seen as the de facto bioanalytical platform of the future. This paper considers the cases where the optical fiber is not merely used as a simple light guide delivering light across a microchannel, but where the fiber itself is engineered to create a new sensor or tool for use within the environment of the fluidic microchannel.
Authors: Robert Blue and Deepak Uttamchandani, Article first published online: 11 SEP 2015 DOI: 10.1002/jbio.201500170