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Nanoparticle assembly for sensitive DNA detection using SERRS

McKeating, Kristy S. and Dougan, Jennifer A. and Faulds, Karen (2012) Nanoparticle assembly for sensitive DNA detection using SERRS. Biochemical Society Transactions, 40. pp. 597-602. ISSN 0300-5127

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Abstract

SERRS (surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering) is a vibrational technique, whereby a relatively weak Raman scattering effect is enhanced through the use of a visible chromophore and a roughened metal surface. The direct analysis of DNA by SERRS requires the modification of a nucleic acid sequence to incorporate a chromophore, and adsorption of the modified sequence on to a roughened metal surface. Aggregated metallic nanoparticles are commonly used in the analysis of dye-labelled DNA by SERRS, allowing for detection levels that rival those gained from standard fluorescence-based techniques. In the present paper, we report on how SERRS can be exploited for the analysis of clinically relevant DNA samples. We also report on the ability of nanoparticles to aggregate as the result of a biologically significant event, as opposed to the use of an external charge-modifying agent. The self-assembly of metallic nanoparticles is shown to be a promising new technique in the move towards extremely sensitive methods of DNA analysis by SERRS.