Systems and methods biochemically sense a concentration of a ligand using a sensor having a substrate having a metallic nanoparticle array formed onto a surface of the substrate. A light source is incident on the surface. A matrix is deposited over the nanoparticle array and contains a protein adapted to binding the ligand. A detector detects s-polarized and p-polarized light from the reflective surface. Spacing of nanoparticles in the array and wavelength of light are selected such that plasmon resonance occurs with an isotropic point such that -s and -p polarizations of the incident light result in substantially identical surface Plasmon resonance, wherein binding of the ligand to the protein shifts the resonance such that differences between the -S and -P polarizations give in a signal indicative of presence of the ligand.
 This invention was made with government support under grant number DE-AC02-06CH11357 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.