Metal-enhanced fluorescence: A novel approach to ultra-sensitive fluorescence sensing assay platforms

Zygmunt Gryczynski, Joanna Malicka, Ignacy Gryczynski, Evgenia Matveeva, Chris D. Geddes, Kadir Aslan, Joseph R. Lakowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We describe the development of a novel generic approach to fluorescence sensing based on metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF). This work follows our initial reports of radiative decay engineering (RDE), where we experimentally demonstrated dramatic signal enhancements of fluorophores positioned close to surface-bound silver nanostructures. The attractive changes in spectral properties of fluorophores includes increased rates of excitation, increased quantum yields, decreased fluorescence lifetimes with an increased photostability, and drastically increased rates of multi-photon excitation. In this report we present a new class of fluorescent biomarkers which are strongly enhanced by metallic particles. This has afforded the development of a novel generic approach for ultra-sensitive fluorescence assay technology. The assay platform utilizes metal particles deposited on glass/quartz surfaces, covered with sub-nanometer layers of a fluorescent biomarker. As such the fluorescence signal of the composite is strongly enhanced. This readily allows easy, quantitative and inexpensive fluorescence detection of minimal traces of specific antigens. We also explore different sensing geometries, such as using evanescent wave excitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-282
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004
EventProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Biomedical Vibrational Spectroscopy and Biohazard Detection Technologies - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 25 Jan 200427 Jan 2004


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