Feasibility Study of an Optical Caustic Plasmonic Light Scattering Sensor for Human Serum Anti-Dengue Protein E Antibody Detection
Antibody detection and accurate diagnosis of tropical diseases is essential to help prevent the spread of disease. However, most detection methods lack cost-effectiveness and field portability, which are essential features for achieving diagnosis in a timely manner. To address this, 3D-printed oblate spheroid sample chambers were fabricated to measure green light scattering of gold nanoparticles using an optical caustic focus to detect antibodies. Scattering signals of 20–200 nm gold nanoparticles using a green laser were compared to green light emitting diode (LED) light source signals and to Mie theory. The change in signal from 60 to 120 nm decreased in the order of Mie Theory > optical caustic scattering > 90° scattering. These results suggested that conjugating 60 nm gold nanoparticles and using an optical caustic system to detect plasmonic light scattering, would result in a sensitive test for detecting human antibodies in serum. Therefore, we studied the light scattering response of conjugated gold nanoparticles exposed to different concentrations of anti-protein E antibody, and a feasibility study of 10 human serum samples using dot blot and a handheld optical caustic-based sensor device. The overall agreement between detection methods suggests that the new sensor concept shows promise to detect gold nanoparticle aggregation in a homogeneous assay. Further testing and protocol optimization is needed to draw conclusions on the positive and negative predictive values for this new testing system.