3D printed instrumentation for point-of-use leaky waveguide (LW) biochemical sensor

Nicholas J. Goddard, Hazel Dixon, Nicola Toole, Ruchi Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
430 Downloads (Pure)


Leaky waveguide (LW) biosensors enable accurate measurements using small sample volumes and are cheap to produce, hence are advantageous in the area of point-of-use devices. Yet, current instrumentation to test LW chips is both bulky and costly, because of the use of expensive components such as glass optics and manufacturing techniques such as computer numerical control (CNC) machining. Meanwhile, 3D printing allows the production of complex shapes that cannot be realised using these techniques, while injection moulding allows the low cost production of optical components. 3D printed instruments offer huge advantages over traditional laboratory instrumentation, in terms of the cost of the manufacturing equipment required, the cost of the resulting instrumentation, size, and portability. This study describes the design and manufacture of a novel 3D printed biosensor instrument, and demonstrates its use for bioanalysis using LWs with a chitosan waveguide layer. This instrument has a refractive index resolution comparable to laboratory instrumentation and 3D printed surface plasmon resonance (SPR) instruments (2.37×10-6, 5.90×10-6 and 1.7×10-6 refractive index units RIU respectively) and has proven able to detect 133 nM (nmol L-1) levels of Immunoglobulin G (IgG) via the measurement of the change in resonance angle produced upon the protein binding to the film.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8967152
Pages (from-to)6390-6398
JournalIEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2020


  • 3-D printing
  • leaky waveguide (LW)
  • point-of-use
  • refractive index (RI)
  • sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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