Optical leaky waveguide biosensors for the detection of organophosphorus pesticides Academic Article uri icon


  • Organophosphorus (OP) pesticides can be rapidly detected by integrating organophosphorus hydrolase with an optical leaky waveguide biosensor. This enzyme catalyses the hydrolysis of a wide range of organophosphorus compounds causing an increase in the pH. Thus, the direct detection of OP is possible by monitoring of the pH changes associated with the enzyme's activity. This article describes the use of an optical, leaky waveguide clad with absorbing materials for the detection of OP pesticides by measuring changes in refractive index, absorbance and fluorescence. In the most effective configuration, a thick sensing layer was used to increase the amount of immobilized enzyme and to increase the light interaction with the sensing layer, resulting in a greatly enhanced sensitivity. The platforms developed in this work were successfully used to detect paraoxon and parathion down to 4 nM concentrations.

publication date

  • January 1, 2007