Aptamer conjugated silver nanoparticles for the detection of interleukin 6
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2016 SPIE. The controlled assembly of plasmonic nanoparticles by a molecular binding event has emerged as a simple yet sensitive methodology for protein detection. Metallic nanoparticles (NPs) coated with functionalized aptamers can be utilized as biosensors by monitoring changes in particle optical properties, such as the LSPR shift and enhancement of the SERS spectra, in the presence of a target protein. Herein we test this method using two modified aptamers selected for the protein biomarker interleukin 6, an indicator of the dengue fever virus and other diseases including certain types of cancers, diabetes, and even arthritis. IL6 works by inducing an immunological response within the body that can be either anti-inflammatory or pro-inflammatory. The results show that the average hydrodynamic diameter of the NPs as measured by Dynamic Light Scattering was 42 nm. After conjugation of the aptamers, the peak absorbance of the AgNPs shifted from 404 to 408 nm indicating a surface modification of the NPs due to the presence of the aptamer. Lastly, preliminary results were obtained showing an increase in SERS intensity occurs when the IL-6 protein was introduced to the conjugate solution but the assay will still need to be optimized in order for it to be able to monitor varying concentration changes within and across the desired range.