Enhanced fluorescence signal using stray light shutter in a quantitative PCR chip

Hsin Yi Tsai, Liang Chieh Chao, Chun Han Chou, Yu Hsuan Lin, Kuo Cheng Huang, Min Chi Hsieh, Yen Ting Liao, Pei Wen Wang, Dar Bin Shieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) is the most important quantitative sensing technique for pathogens, especially for emerging pandemics such as the coronavirus outbreak this year. The qPCR chip and device were investigated to meet the unmet needs of ultrafast inspection time, high accuracy, and small system volume. Therein, the fluorescence intensity was the most important signal in qPCR quantification of DNA amplifications, which is essential not only in the confirmative diagnosis of positive or negative infection, but also in the assessment of viral load for therapeutic and quarantine decision making. As the target DNAs got amplified, the interaction of fluorescence dye and double strand DNA will generate fluorescence signal proportional to amplified DNA in the intensity when excited by certain wavelength. A miniature spectro-detector was employed to receive the fluorescence scattering for digital output of the intensity in the qPCR chip in this study, and the optical simulation and actual experimental design and results according to the optical simulation results were performed to study the effect of the stray light shutter (SLS) in the improvement of the signal in fluorescence detection. The analysis results showed that the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the fluorescence can be enhanced significantly for five times of the control using the SLS with a shape of extended component aperture, where the protruding structure was positioned away from the center. The experimental results showed that fluorescence intensity can be enhanced by 15.50% and 9.86% when adding the above shape of SLS in resin- and in glass-based chip, respectively. The results also demonstrated that the optical setup had good stability and repeatability in fluorescence detection, and variation was less than 1.00%. Our results can provide important reference to the development of qPCR chip to obtain the high SNR fluorescence signal in DNA quantification process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number024003
JournalJournal of Optics (United Kingdom)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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