Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version



6 December 2010 / Vol. 18, No. 25 / OPTICS EXPRESS 26754


Copyright © 2010 Optical Society of America


Novel telluride glasses with high electrical conductivity, wide infrared transparency and good resistance to crystallization are used to design an opto-electrophoretic sensor for detection and identification of hazardous microorganisms. The sensor is based on an attenuated total reflectance element made of Ge-As-Te glass that serves as both an optical sensing zone and an electrode for driving the migration of bio-molecules within the evanescent wave of the sensor. An electric field is applied between the optical element and a counter electrode in order to induce the migration of bio-molecules carrying surface charges. The effect of concentration and applied voltage is tested and the migration effect is shown to be reversible upon switching the electric field. The collected signal is of high quality and can be used to identify different bacterial genus through statistical spectral analysis. This technique therefore provides the ability to detect hazardous microorganisms with high specificity and high sensitivity in aqueous environments. This has great potential for online monitoring of water quality.