Advances and applications of nanophotonic biosensors

Hatice Altug, Sang Hyun Oh, Stefan A. Maier, Jiří Homola

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

214 Scopus citations


Nanophotonic devices, which control light in subwavelength volumes and enhance light–matter interactions, have opened up exciting prospects for biosensing. Numerous nanophotonic biosensors have emerged to address the limitations of the current bioanalytical methods in terms of sensitivity, throughput, ease-of-use and miniaturization. In this Review, we provide an overview of the recent developments of label-free nanophotonic biosensors using evanescent-field-based sensing with plasmon resonances in metals and Mie resonances in dielectrics. We highlight the prospects of achieving an improved sensor performance and added functionalities by leveraging nanostructures and on-chip and optoelectronic integration, as well as microfluidics, biochemistry and data science toolkits. We also discuss open challenges in nanophotonic biosensing, such as reducing the overall cost and handling of complex biological samples, and provide an outlook for future opportunities to improve these technologies and thereby increase their impact in terms of improving health and safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-16
Number of pages12
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge funding from the European Research Council under contract no. 682167 and no. 875672, and the European Union Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation under contract no. FETOPEN-737071 and no. 777714 (H.A.), Samsung Global Research Outreach program, the Sanford P. Bordeau Chair in Electrical Engineering, and the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (S.-H.O.), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and the Lee-Lucas Chair in Physics (S.A.M.) and the Czech Science Foundation under contract no. 20-23787X (J.H.). We also acknowledge A. John-Herpin, A. Belushkin and C. T. Ertsgaard for their help with the figure preparation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Springer Nature Limited.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review


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