In this work, we report all-silicon, integrated optofluidic microsystems (OFMs) fabricated by electrochemical micromachining (ECM) technology, in which high aspect-ratio (HAR) photonic crystal (PhC) devices (i.e. micromirrors, optical cavities) are integrated by one-etching-step, together with microfluidic reservoirs/channels, for the infiltration of liquids in the PhC air gaps, and with fiber grooves for alignment/positioning of readout optical fibers in front of the PhC, on the same silicon die. This has not previously been reported in the literature, and opens up new ground in, though not limited to, the optofluidics field, due to the low-cost and high-flexibility of the ECM technology that allows optofluidic microsystem fabrication to be performed in any lab. Optofluidic characterization of PhC-OFMs by both capillary-action and pressure-driven operations is carried out through the measurement of the reflectivity spectra of HAR-PhCs upon injection of liquids featuring different refractive index values in the HAR-PhC air gaps, by using readout optical fibers positioned in the on-chip fiber grooves. High sensitivity and good limit of detection of PhC-OFMs are obtained for both capillary-action and pressure-driven operations. A best sensitivity value of 670 nm/RIU and a worst-case limit of detection of the order of 10-3 RIU are measured, the former being comparable to state-of-the-art integrated refractive index sensors and the latter being limited by constraints of the experimental setup. The proof of concept about the biosensing potential of PhC-OFMs is given by successfully carrying out a sandwich assay based on antigen-antibody interactions for the detection of the C-reactive protein (CRP) at a concentration value of 10 mg L-1, which represents the boundary level between physiological and pathological conditions.
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