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Functionalised nanoparticles and SERS for bioanalysis

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Gold and silver nanoparticles can be functionalized in such a way that the enhancement of Raman scattering can be greatly increased through biological recognition. This process can give rise to exquisite selectivity in terms of the interaction of the nanoparticles, especially when DNA hybridizations are used and single base mismatches can be analyzed at room temperature. Initially DNA -DNA based systems have been investigated but updates on the ability to enhance SERS through nanoparticle assembly using DNA -protein and peptide-protein systems will be given. In an alternative strategy to harness the power of SERS , dyes which normally have a high affinity for the metal used for enhancement can be masked to prevent them adsorbing. Exposure to a specific enzyme cleaves the mask and allows the dye to adsorb generating a specific SERS signal which can be used to measure enzyme activity and selectivity both in assay formats and in single cells.

This talk is part of the BSS Formal Seminars series.

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