Solid-state sensing tip for zinc ion with double parallel optical fibers embedded in fluorescent hydrogel

Heng Tsan Su, May Jywan Tsai, Gao Fong Chang, Chen Hsiung Hung, Hung Cheng Lin, Che Yeu Chou, Ding Wen Huang, Che Chang Liang, Yu Chao Lin, Hsin-Fei Meng*, Hsiao-Wen Zan, Sheng Fu Horng, Dann Ying Liou, Henrich Cheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A tip-shaped zinc ion solid-state sensor is made by two parallel optical fibers embedded closely in a sensing hydrogel film. The film is made of poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (poly HEMA)hydrogel mixed with the selective fluorescent probe meso-2,6-Dichlorophenyltripyrrinone (TPN-Cl2) with weight ratio of 0.025 wt%. A 405 nm laser output is sent from one fiber and the 622 nm fluorescence of the doped hydrogel is collected by the second fiber. Each fiber diameter is 370 μm (core is 300 μm), whose sum is roughly the tip diameter. The 0.4 cm by 0.5 cm tip has real-time response for zinc ion concentration over 10-6 M, with marginal signal for 10-7 M. The tip is inserted inside an oyster and successfully detects the zinc ions, showing that the sensor works in complex body fluid and tolerates certain mechanical stress. To show the potential application for medicine, the sensing film is applied for primary neuronal cultures. We report for the first time zinc ions release at concentration levels 10-6-10-7 M to the medium under stress conditions of ischemia, inflammation, and intoxication. Furthermore, this correlates with the zinc levels detected by biochemical assay. Such sensing tip has great potential for biomedical monitoring ex vivo or in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-438
Number of pages10
JournalOrganic Electronics
StatePublished - 26 Aug 2015


  • Double fibers
  • Neuronal cultures
  • Sensing tip
  • Solid-state
  • Zinc ion

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