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An investigation into the simultaneous enzymatic and SERRS properties of silver nanoparticles

McKeating, K.S. and Sloan-Dennison, S. and Graham, D. and Faulds, K. (2013) An investigation into the simultaneous enzymatic and SERRS properties of silver nanoparticles. Analyst, 138 (21). pp. 6347-6353. ISSN 0003-2654

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Investigation into the use of artificial enzymes has become an increasingly popular area of research due to the numerous advantages offered in comparison to protein enzymes. One particular area of research interest involves the use of metal nanoparticles as artificial enzymes. The peroxidase-like activity of a variety of nanoparticles has recently been shown and their use in a range of assay formats for the detection of various analytes has been explored. Herein the enzyme mimicking activity of silver nanoparticles is investigated using the peroxidase substrate 3,3′,5′,5′-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB). The peroxidase-like nature of these nanoparticles can be used in combination with surface enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS) to provide a novel spectroscopic method of analysis. Negatively charged silver nanoparticles were investigated in combination with TMB using SERRS and it was found that upon formation of the oxidation intermediate of TMB, small clusters of positively charged nanoparticles were formed. The enzyme like behaviour of silver nanoparticles along with their use as a SERRS substrate is combined to demonstrate a simple and rapid method for the direct detection of hydrogen peroxide with a detection limit of 100 nM.