Femtosecond laser microfabrication of an integrated device for optical release and sensing of bioactive compounds

Diego Ghezzi, Rebeca Martinez Vazquez, Roberto Osellame, Flavia Valtorta, Alessandra Pedrocchi, Giuseppe Della Valle, Roberta Ramponi, Giancarlo Ferrigno, Giulio Cerullo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Flash photolysis of caged compounds is one of the most powerful approaches to investigate the dynamic response of living cells. Monolithically integrated devices suitable for optical uncaging are in great demand since they greatly simplify the experiments and allow their automation. Here we demonstrate the fabrication of an integrated bio-photonic device for the optical release of caged compounds. Such a device is fabricated using femtosecond laser micromachining of a glass substrate. More in detail, femtosecond lasers are used both to cut the substrate in order to create a pit for cell growth and to inscribe optical waveguides for spatially selective uncaging of the compounds present in the culture medium. The operation of this monolithic bio-photonic device is tested using both free and caged fluorescent compounds to probe its capability of multipoint release and optical sensing. Application of this device to the study of neuronal network activity can be envisaged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6595-6604
Number of pages10
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • Caged compound
  • Femtosecond microfabrication
  • Laser uncaging
  • Optical release
  • Optical sensing
  • Waveguides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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