Applications of fiber-optics-based nanosensors to drug discovery.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Fiber-optic nanosensors are fabricated by heating and pulling optical fibers to yield sub-micron diameter tips and have been used for in vitro analysis of individual living mammalian cells. Immobilization of bioreceptors (e.g., antibodies, peptides, DNA) selective to targeting analyte molecules of interest provides molecular specificity. Excitation light can be launched into the fiber, and the resulting evanescent field at the tip of the nanofiber can be used to excite target molecules bound to the bioreceptor molecules. The fluorescence or surface-enhanced Raman scattering produced by the analyte molecules is detected using an ultra-sensitive photodetector.


This article provides an overview of the development and application of fiber-optic nanosensors for drug discovery.


The nanosensors provide minimally invasive tools to probe subcellular compartments inside single living cells for health effect studies (e.g., detection of benzopyrene adducts) and medical applications (e.g., monitoring of apoptosis in cells treated with anticancer drugs).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Vo-Dinh, T; Scaffidi, J; Gregas, M; Zhang, Y; Seewaldt, V

Published Date

  • August 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 4 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 889 - 900

PubMed ID

  • 23496274

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4022300

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1746-045X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1746-0441

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1517/17460440903085112


  • eng