Quantification of Neuropeptide Y with Picomolar Sensitivity Enabled by Guided-Mode Resonance Biosensors

Sensors (Basel). 2019 Dec 24;20(1):126. doi: 10.3390/s20010126.


Assessing levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the human body has many medical uses. Accordingly, we report the quantitative detection of NPY biomarkers applying guided-mode resonance (GMR) biosensor methodology. The label-free sensor operates in the near-infrared spectral region exhibiting distinctive resonance signatures. The interaction of NPY with bioselective molecules on the sensor surface causes spectral shifts that directly identify the binding event without additional processing. In the experiments described here, NPY antibodies are attached to the sensor surface to impart specificity during operation. For the low concentrations of NPY of interest, we apply a sandwich NPY assay in which the sensor-linked anti-NPY molecule binds with NPY that subsequently binds with anti-NPY to close the sandwich. The sandwich assay achieves a detection limit of ~0.1 pM NPY. The photonic sensor methodology applied here enables expeditious high-throughput data acquisition with high sensitivity and specificity. The entire bioreaction is recorded as a function of time, in contrast to label-based methods with single-point detection. The convenient methodology and results reported are significant, as the NPY detection range of 0.1-10 pM demonstrated is useful in important medical circumstances.

Keywords: biomarkers; guided-mode resonance biosensor; neuropeptide Y; optical biosensor; sandwich assay.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Immobilized / chemistry
  • Antibodies, Immobilized / immunology
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay
  • Neuropeptide Y / analysis*
  • Neuropeptide Y / immunology
  • Polymers / chemistry


  • Antibodies, Immobilized
  • Biomarkers
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Polymers