Colorimetric techniques provide a useful approach for sensing application because of their low cost, use of inexpensive equipment, requirement of fewer signal transduction hardware, and, above all, their simple-to-understand results. Colorimetric sensor can be used for both qualitative analyte identification as well as quantitative analysis for many application areas such as clinical diagnosis, food quality control, and environmental monitoring. A gap exists between high-end, accurate, and expensive laboratory equipment and low-cost qualitative point-of-care testing tools. Here, we present a label-free plasmonic-based colorimetric sensor fabricated on a transparent plastic substrate consisting of about one billion nanocups in an array with a subwavelength opening and decorated with metal nanoparticles on the side walls, to bridge that gap. The fabrication techniques of the plasmonic sensor, integration to portable microfluidic devices for lab on chip applications, demonstration of highly sensitive refractive-index sensing, DNA hybridization detection, and protein-protein interaction will be reviewed. Further, we anticipate that the colorimetric sensor can be applied to point-of-care diagnostics by utilizing proper surface functionalization techniques, which seems to be one of the current limiting factors. Finally, the future outlook for the colorimetric plasmonic sensors is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)