Rapid Detection of Infectious Envelope Proteins by Magnetoplasmonic Toroidal Metasensors

ACS Sens. 2017 Sep 22;2(9):1359-1368. doi: 10.1021/acssensors.7b00478. Epub 2017 Aug 22.


Unconventional characteristics of magnetic toroidal multipoles have triggered researchers to study these unique resonant phenomena by using both 3D and planar resonators under intense radiation. Here, going beyond conventional planar unit cells, we report on the observation of magnetic toroidal modes using artificially engineered multimetallic planar plasmonic resonators. The proposed microstructures consist of iron (Fe) and titanium (Ti) components acting as magnetic resonators and torus, respectively. Our numerical studies and following experimental verifications show that the proposed structures allow for excitation of toroidal dipoles in the terahertz (THz) domain with the experimental Q-factor of ∼18. Taking the advantage of high-Q toroidal line shape and its dependence on the environmental perturbations, we demonstrate that room-temperature toroidal metasurface is a reliable platform for immunosensing applications. As a proof of concept, we utilized our plasmonic metasurface to detect Zika-virus (ZIKV) envelope protein (with diameter of 40 nm) using a specific ZIKV antibody. The sharp toroidal resonant modes of the surface functionalized structures shift as a function of the ZIKV envelope protein for small concentrations (∼pM). The results of sensing experiments reveal rapid, accurate, and quantitative detection of envelope proteins with the limit of detection of ∼24.2 pg/mL and sensitivity of 6.47 GHz/log(pg/mL). We envision that the proposed toroidal metasurface opens new avenues for developing low-cost, and efficient THz plasmonic sensors for infection and targeted bioagent detection.

Keywords: Zika-virus envelope protein; detection; immunosensing; terahertz plasmonics; toroidal metasurface.