Terahertz Microfluidic Metamaterial Biosensor for Sensitive Detection of Small-Volume Liquid Samples

Rui Zhang, Qingming Chen, Kai Liu, Zefeng Chen, Kaidi Li, Xuming Zhang, Jianbin Xu, Emma Pickwell-Macpherson

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Metamaterial (MM) assisted terahertz (THz) label-free biosensing has promising applications. However, the sensitive THz detection of highly absorptive liquid samples remains challenging. Here, we present a novel multi-microfluidic-channel MM biosensor for highly sensitive THz sensing of small-volume liquid samples. The multichannels are set mostly in the strong electric field enhancement area of the MM, which significantly decreases the liquid's amount and enhances the interaction between the sensing targets and the THz wave (thus increasing the sensitivity). The sensing results of isopropyl-alcohol-water mixtures and bovine serum albumin solutions based on the bow-tie array MM with multichannels demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed design and the great potential in THz biosensing. This design has the advantages of being highly sensitive, label-free, cost-effective, easy to operate, and only needing a tiny liquid volume. Thus, our device provides a robust route for MM-assisted THz label-free biosensing of liquid-based substances.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8643541
Pages (from-to)209-214
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Terahertz Science and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Biomedical spectroscopy
  • metamaterial (MM)
  • microfluidic
  • terahertz (THz) spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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