Functionalized nanoparticles for measurement of biomarkers using a SERS nanochannel platform
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The overall goal of this research is to develop a new point-of-care system for early detection and characterization of cardiac markers to aid in diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome. The envisioned final technology platform incorporates functionalized gold colloidal nanoparticles trapped at the entrance to a nanofluidic device providing a robust means for analyte detection at trace levels using surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). To discriminate a specific biomarker, we designed an assay format analogous to a competitive ELISA. Notably, the biomarker would be captured by an antibody and in turn displace a peptide fragment, containing the binding epitope of the antibody labeled with a Raman reporter molecule that would not interfere with blood serum proteins. To demonstrate the feasibility of this approach, we used C-reactive protein (CRP) as a surrogate biomarker. We functionalized agarose beads with anti-CRP that were placed outside the nanochannel, then added either Rhodamine-6-G (R6G) labeled-CRP and gold (as a surrogate of a sample without analyte present), or R6G labeled CRP, gold, and unlabeled CRP (as a surrogate of a sample with analyte present). Analyzing the spectra we see an increase in peak intensity in the presence of analyte at characteristic peaks for R6G specifically, 1284 and1567 cm- 1. Further, our results illustrate the reproducibility of the Raman spectra collected for R6G-labeled CRP in the nanochannel. Overall, we believe that this method will provide the advantage of sensitivity and narrow line widths characteristic of SERS as well as the specificity toward the biomarker of interest. 2010 Copyright SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering.