Surface-enhanced Raman nanoparticles for multiplexed analysis of molecular biomarkers and multiparameter flow cytometry.
Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is capable of providing rich vibrational information at the level of single molecules and single nanoparticles. The inventors have developed a class of dye-embedded core-shell nanoparticles that are highly efficient for surface Raman enhancement and could be used as spectroscopic tags for multiplexed detection and spectroscopy. The core-shell particles contain a metallic core for optical enhancement, a reporter molecule for spectroscopic signature, and an encapsulating silica shell for protection and conjugation. The inventors have also incorporated isothiocyanate groups that can serve as molecular anchors for embedding organic dyes. Furthermore, the particles are stable in both aqueous electrolytes and organic solvents.
In comparison with fluorescent dyes and quantum dots, enhanced Raman probes contain a built-in mechanism for signal amplification and provide rich spectroscopic information under ambient experimental conditions. Unlike other biological labels, surface-enhanced Raman nanoparticles provide both high sensitivity and spectroscopic information.