Development of an optofluidic SERS-based biomedical sensor

Brian Walton, Po Jung Huang, Jun Kameoka, Nicolaas Deutz, Gerard L. Coté

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Rapid assessment of radiation exposure to sensitive organs like the gut is extremely important for large populations exposed to ionized radiation, for instance during warfare. Recent results have shown that plasma citrulline levels appear to track gut function after irradiation levels in mice and humans. The current ways to monitor blood citrulline levels are bulky, laborious, time-consuming and expensive methods. Therefore, an optofludic point-of-care (POC) system using surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy to measure plasma citrulline as a marker for radiation exposure that overcomes the above issues is being developed. As a first step toward development of this system four colloidal nanoparticles, spherical gold, silver cubes, silica-gold nanoshells, and silver-gold nanocages have been analyzed for use in the POC system. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images have been taken of each nanoparticle to visualize the morphology of the nanoparticles, which is vital for SERS. Ultraviolet-visible (UV/Vis) spectroscopy was also collected to verify the extinction spectra for each nanoparticle was in resonance with the excitation wavelength. The nanoparticles were functionalized with mercaptobenzoic acid (MBA), a Raman reporter molecule, and SERS spectra were collected to determine which has better utility in a novel micro-to-nanochannel. The data showed that the silver nanocubes have a larger enhancement factor than the gold nanospheres, nanoshells, or nanocages. Currently, these nanocubes are being functionalized with the citulline for assessing the concentration sensitivity and dynamic range for ultimate use as a marker for radiation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptical Diagnostics and Sensing XVI
Subtitle of host publicationToward Point-of-Care Diagnostics
EditorsGerard L. Cote
ISBN (Electronic)9781628419498
StatePublished - 2016
EventOptical Diagnostics and Sensing XVI: Toward Point-of-Care Diagnostics - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 15 Feb 201616 Feb 2016

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceOptical Diagnostics and Sensing XVI: Toward Point-of-Care Diagnostics
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • SERS
  • micro-to-nanochannel
  • nanoparticles


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