Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy for the detection of pathogenic DNA and protein in foods Conference Paper uri icon


  • Traditional Raman spectroscopy while extremely sensitive to structure and conformation, is an ineffective tool for the detection of bioanalytes at the sub milimolar level. Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) is a technique developed more recently that has been used with applaudable success to enhance the Raman cross-section of a molecule by factors of 106 to 1014. This technique can be exploited in a nanoscale biosensor for the detection of pathogenic proteins and DNA in foods by using a biorecognition molecule to bring a target analyte in close proximity to the metal surface. This is expected to produce a SERS signal of the target analyte, thus making it possible to easily discriminate between the target analyte and possible confounders. In order for the sensor to be effective, the Raman spectra of the target analyte would have to be distinct from that of the biorecognition molecule, as both would be in close proximity to the metal surface and thus be subjected to the SERS effect. In our preliminary studies we have successfully used citrate reduced silver colloidal particles to obtain unique SERS spectra of -helical and -sheet bovine serum albumin (BSA) that served as models of an helical antibody (biorecognition element) and a sheet target protein (pathogenic prion). In addition, the unique SERS spectra of double stranded and single stranded DNA were also obtained where the single stranded DNA served as the model for the biorecognition element and the double stranded DNA served as the model for the DNA probe/target hybrid. This provides a confirmation of the feasibility of the method which opens opportunities for potentially wide spread applications in the detection of food pathogens, biowarfare agents, and other bio-analytes.

name of conference

  • Optical Diagnostics and Sensing in Biomedicine III

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Chowdhury, M. H., Atkinson, B., Good, T. A., & Cote, G. L.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Chowdhury, MH||Atkinson, B||Good, TA||Cote, GL

editor list (cited editors)

  • Priezzhev, A. V., & Cote, G. L.

publication date

  • January 2003