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New device offers a simpler and potentially less expensive way to detect DNA and other biomolecules

A simple method to sense DNA, as well as potential biomarker proteins of cancer or other diseases such as Alzheimer’s, may soon be within reach – thanks to the work of a team of Yokohama researchers in Japan.

Top View of the Nanolaser
This image shows a top view of the group’s nanolaser, in which the center narrow slot (horizontal line) is the main part of the sensor. The periodic holes form a photonic crystal, and although the size of the holes appears to fluctuate they’ve been intentionally modified so the laser’s emission is effectively extracted to the top.


The team’s work is funded by a research grant from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology in Japan.

The article, “Simultaneous detection of refractive index and surface charges in nanolaser biosensors,” is authored by Keisuke Watanabe, Yoji Kishi, Shoji Hachuda, Takumi Watanabe, Mai Sakemoto, Yoshiaki Nishijima and Toshihiko Baba. Published in the journal Applied Physics Letters on January 13, 2015 (DOI: 10.1063/1.4904481).

The authors of this paper are affiliated with Yokohama National University.

American Institute of Physics