Rapid molecular diagnostic sensor based on ball-lensed optical fibers

Byungjun Park, Bonhan Koo, Jisub Kim, Kiri Lee, Hyeonjin Bang, Sung Han Kim, Kyung Young Jhang, Yong Shin, Seungrag Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Given the fatal health conditions caused by emerging infectious pathogens, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, their rapid diagnosis is required for preventing secondary infections and guiding correct treatments. Although various molecular diagnostic methods based on nucleic acid amplification have been suggested as gold standards for identifying different species, these methods are not suitable for the rapid diagnosis of pathogens owing to their long result acquisition times and complexity. In this study, we developed a rapid bio-optical sensor that uses a ball-lensed optical fiber (BLOF) probe and an automatic analysis platform to precisely diagnose infectious pathogens. The BLOF probe is easy to align and has a high optical sensing sensitivity (1.5-fold) and a large detection range (1.2-fold) for an automatic optical sensing system. Automatic signal processing of up to 250 copies/reaction of DNA of Q-fever-causing Coxiella burnetii was achieved within 8 min. The clinical utility of this system was demonstrated with 18 clinical specimens (9 Q-fever and 9 other febrile disease samples) by measuring the resonant wavelength shift of positive or negative samples for Coxiella burnetii DNA. The results from the system revealed the stable and automatic optical signal measurement of DNA with 100% accuracy. We envision that this BLOF probebased sensor would be a practical tool for the rapid, simple, and sensitive diagnosis of emerging infectious pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Korea Health Technology R & D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare (HI15C-2774-020015 & HI20C0073).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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