SERS-barcoded colloidal gold NP assemblies as imaging agents for use in biodiagnostics

Priyanka Dey, William Olds, Idriss Blakey, Kristofer J. Thurecht, Emad L. Izake, Peter M. Fredericks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


There is a growing need for new biodiagnostics that combine high throughput with enhanced spatial resolution and sensitivity. Gold nanoparticle (NP) assemblies with sub-10 nm particle spacing have the benefits of improving detection sensitivity via Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and being of potential use in biomedicine due to their colloidal stability. A promising and versatile approach to form solution-stable NP assemblies involves the use of multi-branched molecular linkers which allows tailoring of the assembly size, hot-spot density and interparticle distance. We have shown that linkers with multiple anchoring end-groups can be successfully employed as a linker to assemble gold NPs into dimers, linear NP chains and clustered NP assemblies. These NP assemblies with diameters of 30-120 nm are stable in solution and perform better as SERS substrates compared with single gold NPs, due to an increased hot-spot density. Thus, tailored gold NP assemblies are potential candidates for use as biomedical imaging agents. We observed that the hot-spot density and in-turn the SERS enhancement is a function of the linker polymer concentration and polymer architecture. New deep Raman techniques like Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS) have emerged that allow detection from beneath diffusely scattering opaque materials, including biological media such as animal tissue. We have been able to demonstrate that the gold NP assemblies could be detected from within both proteinaceous and high lipid containing animal tissue by employing a SORS technique with a backscattered geometry.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiomedical Vibrational Spectroscopy VI: Advances in Research and Industry
EditorsAnita Mahadevan-Jansen, Wolfgang Petrich
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2014
Event SPIE BiOS 2014 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 1 Feb 20146 Feb 2014


Conference SPIE BiOS 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


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