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Plasmonic nanobiosensors: From therapeutic drug monitoring to optophysiology of live cells

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In this presentation, the properties of different plasmonic nanomaterials will be discussed in the context of clinical and biological sensing. In our research, we have studied and integrated novel plasmonic materials based on nanoparticle and hole arrays, surface chemistry relying on peptide monolayers and unique instrumental designs for sensing biomolecules of importance in disease detection, monitoring the course of treatment of patients during ongoing therapies or of general interest in biological systems. The plasmonic properties of nanohole and microhole arrays were studied in different excitation modes (transmission and attenuated total reflection) for plasmonic sensing and in surface-enhanced excitation. The nanohole and microhole were arrayed using photolithography on a 4” wafer and the nanohole arrays were integrated in a 96-well plate reader. This platform was used to screen antibodies for PSA sensing and to monitor methotrexate, an anticancer agent used in chemotherapy. We have also developed a SPR and LSPR sensing platform based on a small and portable instrument. Competition assays were validated for therapeutic drug quantitation, such as methotrexate and antibiotics and for monitoring therapeutic responses of patients undergoing leukemia treatments. Lastly, we are currently exploring the concept of optophysiology using plasmonic nanopipettes for monitoring live cell secretion events. Due to the absence of general techniques for detecting metabolites near live cells, developing tool to monitor cell secretion events remains a challenge to overcome in chemical analysis. Plasmonic nanopipettes were developed based on the decoration of patch clamp nanocapillaries with Au nanoparticles. The plasmonic nanopipette is thus competent for dynamic SERS measurements in the liquid environment near cells. This nanobiosensor was tested with the detection of small metabolites near live MDCKII cells.

This talk is part of the Materials Chemistry Research Interest Group series.

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