Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) has long been the gold standard in detecting and observing biomolecular interactions and there is every indication that this trend will continue. In fact, scientists are pushing the known limits of SPR in order to explore new ways to use the technology to further our understanding in the fields of kinetics and thermodynamics and to help create more affordable healthcare. Both of these areas appear ripe for innovation with the integration of SPR across a variety of applications.
Traditionally, it has been difficult for scientists to understand the kinetics of the binding process because temperature changes, flow direction shifts and bulk refractive shifts have influenced results. The use of reference locations has helped to somewhat curb this problem, but still limited scientists to qualitative observations. Thus far, methods for gathering accurate quantitative data have been unreliable, at best. Scientists are able to glean meaningful kinetic data concerning the parallel interaction process and are actively working towards being able to advance SPR technology to the point where gathering a comprehensive quantitative data set is not quite so precarious. Looking towards the future, Surface Plasmon Resonance will easily allow observations in binding that can be qualitatively supported.
SPR technology also has major implications when it comes to cutting healthcare costs while also increasing the speed and accuracy of diagnoses. Doctors are imagining a world where SPR is a common tool in primary health and portable healthcare technology. One of the major benefits of using SPR is that is requires a minimal amount of relatively expensive reagents. By further reducing the amount of reagent required to make observations, incorporating disposable chips and integrating a battery powered system, SPR and other diagnostic equipment will become safer, easier to use and more portable. As compared to other biosensing technologies, Surface Plasmon Resonance is already leading the field, making the potential for improvement is unlimited.
As scientists and medical professionals continue to recognize the importance of SPR and its potential to reveal molecular behavior that can be optically observed, it is inevitable that they will discover new uses and ways to overcome current limitations. If nothing else, it is clear that SPR is moving towards producing improved accuracy and affordability, which will make it more accessible to more people. The more creative minds that have access to the technology, the more innovations we can expect in the not so distant future.