University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences: Optical spectroscopy and biosensors for investigation of biomolecules and their interactions (2020-2021)

Synopsis Optical methods provide basis for a range of established and newly developed technologies for the investigation of biointerfaces and for detection and interaction analysis of biomolecules. The course will give an introduction to optical characteristics of materials and how their characteristics can be tailored by their (nano)structuring. There will be introduced optical nanostructures that allow to efficiently manipulate with light at nanoscale for the optical probing of biomolecules and interfaces. In particular, methods relying on surface plasmon resonance (SPR), surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy (SEIRA), and fluorescence will in discussed. The lecture will illustrate key optical principles based on which these methods rely by a set of examples covering the investigation of polymer-based architectures at interfaces of technical devices that are in contact with biological media (e.g. antifouling interfaces for biosensors analysing complex media), rapid detection of species relevant to medical diagnostics (e.g. detection of biomarkers) and food control (e.g. analysis of harmful species such as toxins). In addition, modern optical imaging techniques for the observation of biomolecules that take advantage of tight confinement of light and its localization in optical tweezers, super-resolution microscopy, and rapidly progressing tools for single molecule detection and digital assay readout in ultrasensitive biosensors will be discussed. The course is designed for undergraduate, graduate and PhD students, technicians and researches from different fields giving theoretical background and practical insight into the modern optical tools that serve for the observation of interaction of biomolecules, their rapid detection and implementation to analytical technologies.

  • Fundamentals of optical materials: description of light propagation, light confinement, interaction of light with matter, linear and non-linear optical processes.
  • Optical nanostructures, plasmonics, whispering gallery modes, dielectric and metallic waveguides.
  • Optical spectroscopy tools, common implementations of SPR, SERS, SEIRA. Design of the experiments and interpretation of acquired data.
  • Modern optical imaging tools and manipulation of matter with light: super-resolution microscopy based on STED, STORM, etc.
  • Optical biosensors based on SPR, SERS, SEIRA and fluorescence readout, Design of the experiments and interpretation of acquired data.
  • Applications in medical diagnostics, digital type of readout of assays, current status of biosensor technologies and possible future directions.

Supporting materials (winter semester 2020-2021): 

  • Lecture1 on 'Optics and Light Interaction with Matter' pdf
  • Lecture 2 on 'Optical Properties of Nanostructured Materials' pdf
  • Lecture 3 on 'Concept of Optical Biosensors' pdf
  • Lecture 4 on 'Biointerfaces for Optical Biosensors' pdf
  • Lecture 5 on 'Affinity Reactions at Surfaces and Assays Types' pdf
  • Lecture 6 on 'Surface Plasmon Biosensors I - Fundamentals of the Method' pdf
  • Lecture 7 on 'Surface Plasmon Biosensors II - Implementations' pdf
  • Lecture 8 on 'Non SPR Biosensors with Direct Detection Format' pdf
  • Lecture 9 on 'Emerging Optical Biosensors I - Wearable and Implanted Devices' pdf
  • Lecture 10 on 'Emerging Optical Biosensors II - Single Molecule Interaction Studies' pdf
  • Lecture 11 on 'Emerging Optical Biosensors III - Digital Readout Assays' pdf

Supporting materials (summer semester 2021): 

  • Lecture1 on 'Optical Manipulation with Matter, Micro/nanorobots' pdf
  • Lecture 2 on 'Fluorescence Spectroscopy (Fundamentals) Ipdf
  • Lecture 3 on 'Fluorescence Spectroscopy (Amplification Strategies) IIpdf
  • Lecture 4 on 'Optical Microscopy Techniques, Super-resolution Microscopypdf
  • Lecture 5 on 'Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopypdf
  • Lecture 6 on 'Surface-Enhanced Infrared Absoprtion Spectroscopypdf
  • Lecture 7 on 'Tutorial 1: In Situ Observation of Thin Polymer Filmspdf
  • Lecture 8 on 'Tutorial 2: Evaluation of SPR Kinetics for Affinity Interaction Analysispdf
  • Lecture 9 on 'Tutorial 3: Evaluation of Optical Biosensor Responsepdf
  • Lecture 10 on 'Combinations of Optical Spectroscopy with Other Techniquespdf
  • Lecture 11 on 'Overview of Applications Optical Biosensors in Medical Diagnosticspdf
  • Lecture 12 on 'Overview of Applications Optical Biosensors in Environmental Monitoring'pdf
  • Lecture 13 on 'Overview of Applications Optical Biosensors in Life Sciences'

Recorded lectures:

  Optical properties of materials and structures video

  Biointerfaces and affinity interaction video

  Plasmonic biosensors video

  Emerging optical biosensors video


FH Technikum Wien

Fachhochschule Technikum Wien: Advanced Technologies in Biological Research - Optical Biosensors and Nanotechnologies (2012-now)

Syllabus: The course provides an introduction to optical biosensor technologies for rapid detection of molecular and biological species and for biomolecular interaction analysis. It comprises brief overview of optics fundamentals, technologies used for fabrication of optical micro and nano-structures, most common configurations of optical biosensors and their implementation to functional devices:

  • Definition of biosensor for detection of chemical and biological species. Overview of transducer technologies based on amperometric, acoustic, and optical measurements. Key performance characteristics of biosensors including sensitivity, detection range, and limit of detection. Application areas including medical diagnostics and drug development.
  • Introduction to optical phenomena exploited in optical biosensors: ray, wave optics, electromagnetic optics, total internal reflection, guided wave optics, surface plasmon resonance, fluorescence, and Raman scattering. 
  • echnologies for preparation of optical micro- and nano-structures: thin film deposition, top down and bottom up fabrications, photo- electron beam lithography, colloidal lithography, nano-imprint lithography.
  • Optical spectroscopy-based biosensors. Colorimetric, fluorescence, Raman, and IR-based detection. Sensor signal enhancement strategies - surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), surface-enhanced fluorescence (SEF).
  • Label-free optical biosensors. Localized and propagating surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Dielectric ring resonators and integrated optical interferometers. 
  • Heterogeneous assay-based biosensors. Reaction kinetics and evaluation of affinity binding constants for molecular interaction analysis (BIA).

Supporting materials (winter semester 2020-2021): 

  • First part of the lecture (covering introduction to light propagation and confinement, optical micro and nanostructures, optical spectroscopy, super-resolution microscopy). pdf
  • Second part of the lecture (covering introduction to optical tweezers, biosensors, surface plasmon resonance, reaction kinetics, single molecule detection sensors) . pdf