Journal of Materials Research


Biocompatibility of Te–As–Se glass fibers for cell-based bio-optic infrared sensors

Allison A. Wilhelma1, Pierre Lucasa1 c1, Diana L. DeRosaa2 and Mark R. Rileya2

a1 Department of Material Science and Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721

a2 Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721


The chemical stability and toxicity of Te–As–Se (TAS) infrared fibers are investigated. These fibers are used for biosensing applications that involve direct contact with live cultivated human cells. It is shown that TAS fibers exhibit a small oxidation layer after extended exposure to air. This layer is highly soluble in water and easily removed. However, the TAS glass itself is stable in water over several days. While oxidized fibers release arsenate ions, which result in toxic effects to the cells, fresh or washed fibers show no toxic effects. A good correlation is shown between surface etching and the disappearance of toxicity.

(Received September 12 2006)

(Accepted January 17 2007)

Key Words:

  • As;
  • Infrared (IR) spectroscopy;
  • Sensor


c1 Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail:

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