We report the fabrication and characterization of gold-coated etched glass array substrates for surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRi) analysis with significantly enhanced performance, in particular image contrast and sensitivity. The etching of the glass substrate induces a variation in the resonance condition and thus in the resonance angle between the etched wells and the surrounding area, leading to the isolation of the array spot resonance with a significant reduction of the background signal. FDTD simulations show arrays with large spots and minimal spot-to-spot spacing yield ideal differential resonance conditions, which are verified by experimental results. Simulations also indicate the etched well structure exhibits enhanced SPR electric field intensity by 3-fold as compared to standard planar gold chips. Changes in the bulk sensitivity of the etched arrays have been obtained at the 10 -4 RIU level based on image intensity difference. The strong image contrast allows for improved microarray imaging analysis with easily distinguished signals from background resonance. The etched array chips are demonstrated for SPRi detection of bacterial toxins through the coating of an ultrathin SiO 2 film for direct vesicle fusion that establishes a supported membrane-based biosensing interface. Protein detection with cholera toxin (CT) at 5 nM is obtained, making this chip one of the most sensitive SPR imaging substrates ever reported without a postbinding amplification scheme. Furthermore, the surface can be regenerated by Triton X-100 for repeated cycles of membrane formation, protein binding, and biomolecular removal. The reusability and enhanced performance of the etched glass array chips should find a broad range of applications, opening up new avenues for high-throughput SPR imaging detection with convenience and marked surface sensitivity.