A digital assay for a micro RNA (miRNA) or other target analyte in a sample makes use of nanoparticles that absorb light at the resonant wavelength of a photonic crystal (PC). Such nanoparticles locally quench the resonant reflection of light from the PC when present on the surface of the PC. The nanoparticles are functionalized to specifically bind to the target analyte, and the PC surface is functionalized to specifically bind to the nanoparticles that have bound to the target analyte. The sample is exposed to the functionalized nanoparticles, and the individual nanoparticles bound to the PC surface can be identified and counted based on reduced intensity values in the reflected light from the PC. The number of bound nanoparticles that are counted in this way can be correlated to the abundance of the target analyte in the sample.
Original languageEnglish (US)
U.S. patent number11041187
StatePublished - Jun 22 2021


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