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Issue 23, 2009
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Label-free and highly sensitive biomolecular detection using SERS and electrokinetic preconcentration

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Abstract

In this paper, we present a method combining surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy to detect biomolecules in a label-free way with an electrokinetic preconcentration technique (electrophoresis) to amplify biomolecular signals at low concentrations. A constant electric field is applied to charged biomolecules in solution, attracting them to an oppositely charged electrode, which is also used as a SERS substrate. Within 5 min, we observed that the SERS signal of 10 fM adenine was amplified to the level of the signal of non-preconcentrated 1 µM adenine (sensitivity improvement by 8 orders of magnitude) and the method was effective over a wide range of concentrations (10 fM to 1 µM). The signals were further amplified under stronger electric field and longer application: The increase of the signal intensity was observed to be 51 times at −0.6 V cm−1 after 25 min. The effectiveness of this method allows the creation of label-free, target-specific, and highly sensitive monitoring applications.

Graphical abstract: Label-free and highly sensitive biomolecular detection using SERS and electrokinetic preconcentration

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Jun 2009, accepted on 20 Aug 2009 and first published on 01 Oct 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B912076A
Citation: Lab Chip, 2009,9, 3360-3363
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    Label-free and highly sensitive biomolecular detection using SERS and electrokinetic preconcentration

    H. Cho, B. Lee, G. L. Liu, A. Agarwal and L. P. Lee, Lab Chip, 2009, 9, 3360
    DOI: 10.1039/B912076A

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