Reusable, robust, and accurate laser-generated photonic nanosensor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Yunuen Montelongo
  • Fernando Da Cruz Vasconcellos
  • J. L. Martinez-Hurtado
  • Sankalpa Neupane
  • Malik M. Qasim
  • Jeffrey Blyth
  • Keith Burling
  • J. Bryan Carmody
  • Mark Evans
  • Timothy D. Wilkinson
  • Lauro T. Kubota
  • Michael J. Monteiro
  • Christopher R. Lowe

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK.
  • Universidade Estadual de Campinas
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Cambridge
  • Core Biochemical Assay Laboratory, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Department of Pediatrics, Division of Nephrology, Eastern Virginia Medical School
  • National Institute of Science and Technology of Bioanalytics, Institute of Chemistry, University of Campinas
  • Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, University of Queensland


Developing noninvasive and accurate diagnostics that are easily manufactured, robust, and reusable will provide monitoring of high-risk individuals in any clinical or point-of-care environment. We have developed a clinically relevant optical glucose nanosensor that can be reused at least 400 times without a compromise in accuracy. The use of a single 6 ns laser (λ = 532 nm, 200 mJ) pulse rapidly produced off-axis Bragg diffraction gratings consisting of ordered silver nanoparticles embedded within a phenylboronic acid-functionalized hydrogel. This sensor exhibited reversible large wavelength shifts and diffracted the spectrum of narrow-band light over the wavelength range λpeak ≈ 510-1100 nm. The experimental sensitivity of the sensor permits diagnosis of glucosuria in the urine samples of diabetic patients with an improved performance compared to commercial high-throughput urinalysis devices. The sensor response was achieved within 5 min, reset to baseline in ∼10 s. It is anticipated that this sensing platform will have implications for the development of reusable, equipment-free colorimetric point-of-care diagnostic devices for diabetes screening.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3587-3593
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2014


  • diagnostics, glucose sensing, nanoparticles, Photonic sensors, point-of-care