Author(s): Lam H, Kostov Y, Rao G, Tolosa L
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Abstract In general, the most difficult task in developing devices for fluorescence ratiometric sensing is the isolation of signals from overlapping emission wavelengths. Wavelength discrimination can be achieved by using monochromators or bandpass filters, which often lead to decreased signal intensities. The result is a device that is both complex and expensive. Here we present an alternative system--a low-cost standalone optical fluorimeter based on luminescence lifetime assisted ratiometric sensing (LARS). This paper describes the principle of this technique and the overall design of the sensor device. The most significant innovation of LARS is the ability to discriminate between two overlapping luminescence signals based on differences in their luminescence decay rates. Thus, minimal filtering is required and the two signals can be isolated despite significant overlap of luminescence spectra. The result is a device that is both simple and inexpensive. The electronic circuit employs the lock-in amplification technique for the signal processing and the system is controlled by an onboard microcontroller. In addition, the system is designed to communicate with external devices via Bluetooth.
This article was published in Rev Sci Instrum
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques