Metal enhanced fluorescence (MEF) for biosensors: General approaches and a review of recent developments

Yoon Jeong, Yun Min Kook, Kangwon Lee, Won Gun Koh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

50 Citations (Scopus)


Fluorescence-based biosensor platforms have been intensively investigated not only to increase the sensitivity but also to improve the performance of biosensors. By exploiting metal from the macroscopic down to the nanoscopic surface, various architectures have been devised to manipulate fluorescence signals (enhancement, quenching) within near-optical fields. The interaction of a metallic surface with proximal fluorophores (in the range of 5–90 nm) has beneficial effects on optical properties such as an increased quantum yield, improved photostability and a reduced lifetime of fluorophores. This phenomenon called metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF) has been extensively used in biosensory applications. However, their applications for biological analysis practically remain challenging in biological microenvironments. Therefore, this review primarily provides a general overview of MEF biosensor systems from the basic mechanism to state-of-the-art biological applications. The review also covers the pros and cons of MEF biosensor as well as discussions about further directions in biological perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-116
Number of pages15
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry

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