Infrared Plasmonic Biosensor for Real-Time and Label-Free Monitoring of Lipid Membranes

Nano Lett. 2016 Feb 10;16(2):1502-8. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b05316. Epub 2016 Jan 13.


In this work, we present an infrared plasmonic biosensor for chemical-specific detection and monitoring of biomimetic lipid membranes in a label-free and real-time fashion. Lipid membranes constitute the primary biological interface mediating cell signaling and interaction with drugs and pathogens. By exploiting the plasmonic field enhancement in the vicinity of engineered and surface-modified nanoantennas, the proposed biosensor is able to capture the vibrational fingerprints of lipid molecules and monitor in real time the formation kinetics of planar biomimetic membranes in aqueous environments. Furthermore, we show that this plasmonic biosensor features high-field enhancement extending over tens of nanometers away from the surface, matching the size of typical bioassays while preserving high sensitivity.

Keywords: Surface-enhanced infrared absorption; label-free biosensor; lipid membrane; near-field decay; plasmonics; real-time kinetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques*
  • Kinetics
  • Membrane Lipids / chemistry
  • Membrane Lipids / isolation & purification*
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Spectrophotometry, Infrared
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance
  • Water / chemistry


  • Membrane Lipids
  • Water