Biosensing technology is an advancing field that benefits from the properties of biological processes combined to functional materials. Recently, biosensors have emerged as essential tools in biomedical applications, offering advantages over conventional clinical techniques for diagnosis and therapy. Optical biosensors provide fast, selective, direct, and cost-effective analyses allowing label-free and real-time tests. They have also shown exceptional potential for integration in lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices. The major challenge in the biosensor field is to achieve a fully operative LOC platform that can be used in any place at any time. The choice of an appropriate strategy to immobilize the biological element on the sensor surface becomes the key factor to obtain an applicable analytical tool. In this chapter, after a brief description of the main biofunctionalization procedures on silicon devices, two silicon-based chips that present an (i) IgG antibody or (ii) an Id-peptide as molecular probe, directed against the B-cell receptor of lymphoma cancer cells, will be presented. From a comparison in detecting cells, the Id-peptide device was able to detect lymphoma cells also at low cell concentrations (8.5 × 10−3 cells/μm2) and in the presence of a large amount of non-specific cells. This recognition strategy could represent a proof-of-concept for an innovative tool for the targeting of patient-specific neoplastic B cells during the minimal residual disease; in addition, it represents an encouraging starting point for the construction of a lab-on-a-chip system for the specific recognition of neoplastic cells in biological fluids enabling the follow-up of the changes of cancer cells number in patients, highly demanded for therapy monitoring applications.
Part of the book: Lab-on-a-Chip Fabrication and Application