Anisotropic nanoparticles (i.e., silver nanocubes) were functionalized with target-specific antibodies and Raman active tags to serve as nanoprobes for the rapid detection of bacteria in a test-in-a-tube platform. A self-referencing scheme was developed and implemented in which surface enhanced Raman spectroscopic (SERS) signatures of the targets were observed superimposed with the SERS signals of the Raman tags. The assessment through the dual signals (superimposed target and tag Raman signatures) supported a specific recognition of the targets in a single step with no washing/separation needed to a sensitivity of 102 CFU/mL, even in the presence of non-target bacteria at a 10 times higher concentration. The self-referencing protocol implemented with a portable Raman spectrometer potentially can become an easy-to-use, field-deployable spectroscopic sensor for onsite detection of pathogenic microorganisms.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/chenxu_yu/6/