A research team from the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology has developed a new type of flexible, bio-compatible LED for bio sensing applications. The device, which is described in detail in the journal Nano Energy, is made up of gallium nitride (GaN) on a flexible liquid crystal polymer substrate and is coated with a water resistant and bio-compatible material.
According to the researchers, the use of highly efficient GaN LEDs has distinct advantages for implanted biosensing applications where a long device life is required. However, up until now it had been difficult to manufacture these LEDs in a flexible bio-compatible package.
In their paper the researchers also demonstrated the use of their device as part of a larger bio-sensor module for sensing prostate specific antigen (PSA). The module comprised a light source made up of the flexible GaN LED, an electroluminescence detector, and a reaction chip with biomolecules immobilized on the glass surface. The module demonstrated very high sensitivity to PSA concentrations on the reaction chip which the researchers believe could be used for implanted prostate cancer detection.
Announcement: Cancer detection from an implantable, flexible LED
Full article in Nano Energy: Water-resistant flexible GaN LED on a liquid crystal polymer substrate for implantable biomedical applications