Surface plasmon resonance fiber sensor for real-time and label-free monitoring of cellular behavior


  • Shevchenko, Yanina
  • Camci-Unal, Gulden
  • Cuttica, Davide F.
  • Dokmeci, Mehmet R.
  • Albert, Jacques
  • Khademhosseini, Ali




This paper reports on the application of an optical fiber biosensor for real-time analysis of cellular behavior. Our findings illustrate that a fiber sensor fabricated from a traditional telecommunication fiber can be integrated into conventional cell culture equipment and used for real-time and label-free monitoring of cellular responses to chemical stimuli. The sensing mechanism used for the measurement of cellular responses is based on the excitation of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) on the surface of the optical fiber. In this proof of concept study, the sensor was utilized to investigate the influence of a number of different stimuli on cells—we tested the effects of trypsin, serum and sodium azide. These stimuli induced detachment of cells from the sensor surface, uptake of serum and inhibition of cellular metabolism, accordingly. The effects of different stimuli were confirmed with alamar blue assay, phase contrast and fluorescence microscopy. The results indicated that the fiber biosensor can be successfully utilized for real-time and label-free monitoring of cellular response in the first 30 min following the introduction of a stimulus. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the optical fiber biosensors can be easily regenerated for repeated use, proving this platform as a versatile and cost-effective sensing tool.


  • SPR, surface plasmon resonance; 
  • RI, refractive index; 
  • TFBG, tilted fiber Bragg grating;
  • FBS, fetal bovine serum


  • Cellular analysis; 
  • Plasmonic fiber sensor; 
  • Cellular response; 
  • Real-time and label-free sensing



Peer Review: 

Published in Peer Reviewed Journal

Faculty Name: 

Faculty of Engineering and Design

Department Name: 

Department of Electronics

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