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An optical method is presented for in the situ monitoring of biomolecular films via reflection microscopy on patterned substrates. The method is based on measuring the reflection coefficient of a composite consisting of a substrate, a patterned optical layer, the thin film to be monitored and the cover medium. The optical layer is patterned so that an array of squares is surrounded by the bare substrate. The reflectance difference between the optical layer squares and the bare substrate is the observable, whose fractional changes reveal the thickness of the film through a simple analytical expression. The periodic image is recorded by a digital microscope, and through Fourier transform techniques, the normalized differential reflectance of the patterned optical composite is calculated as the contrast factor of two dimensional bit map. The method is demonstrated by measuring a protein binding assay inside a microfluidic module placed under a microscope.


I Archontas, A Salapatas, K Misiakos. Molecular film growth monitoring via reflection microscopy on periodically patterned substrates. Optics express. 2013 Feb 25;21(4):4215-27

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PMID: 23481955

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