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Combining functionalised nanoparticles and SERS for the detection of DNA relating to disease

Graham, D. and Stevenson, R. and Thompson, D.G. and Barrett, L. and Dalton, C. and Faulds, K. (2011) Combining functionalised nanoparticles and SERS for the detection of DNA relating to disease. Faraday Discussions, 149. pp. 291-299. ISSN 1359-6640

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DNA functionalised nanoparticle probes offer new opportunities in analyte detection. Ultrasensitive, molecularly specific targeting of analytes is possible through the use of metallic nanoparticles and their ability to generate a surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) response. This is leading to a new range of diagnostic clinical probes based on SERS detection. Our approaches have shown how such probes can detect specific DNA sequences by using a biomolecular recognition event to 'turn on' a SERS response through a controlled assembly process of the DNA functionalised nanoparticles. Further, we have prepared DNA aptamer functionalised SERS probes and demonstrated how introduction of a protein target can change the aggregation state of the nanoparticles in a dose-dependant manner. These approaches are being used as methods to detect biomolecules that indicate a specific disease being present with a view to improving disease management.