Organic light-emitting diode-based fluorescence sensing system for DNA detection

Cheng Lian, Claude Nogues, Ifor David William Samuel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Conventional fluorescence sensing equipment for disease detection is expensive and bulky, restricting access of patients to accurate diagnosis. Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) have the potential to enable compact fluorescence sensing compatible with point-of-care (POC) testing. However, the limited brightness and broad emission spectra of OLEDs can be a challenge for achieving good sensitivity. Here, co-host microcavity OLEDs with narrowed spectra, high conductivity, and high brightness are developed for fluorescence sensing. The OLEDs are driven in pulsed mode for achieving higher brightness and stable light output. To sense the presence of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), two complementary ssDNA labelled with Cyanine dyes – Cy3 (ssDNA-Cy3) or Cy5 (ssDNA-Cy5) are used to form a Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) pair when the DNA hybridized. The dye-labelled DNA is then excited by the OLED at the Cy3 excitation wavelength, and the fluorescence is detected at the emission wavelength of Cy5. As a result, the device shows a very high sensitivity that can detect as low as 1 × 10−9 m of ssDNA-Cy5 in fetal bovine serum (FBS). This work shows a simple approach to highly sensitive fluorescence sensing with OLED light sources that is promising for use in POC diagnostics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2100806
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Materials Technologies
VolumeEarly View
Early online date2 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Nov 2021


  • DNA detection
  • Förster resonance energy transfer pair
  • Fluorescence sensing
  • Organic light-emitting diodes
  • Point-of-care-testing


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