Nanoplasmonic sensors for biointerfacial science
In recent years, nanoplasmonic sensors have become widely used for the label-free detection of biomolecules across medical, biotechnology, and environmental science applications. To date, many nanoplasmonic sensing strategies have been developed with outstanding measurement capabilities, enabling detection down to the single-molecule level. One of the most promising directions has been surface-based nanoplasmonic sensors, and the potential of such technologies is still emerging. Going beyond detection, surface-based nanoplasmonic sensors open the door to enhanced, quantitative measurement capabilities across the biointerfacial sciences by taking advantage of high surface sensitivity that pairs well with the size of medically important biomacromolecules and biological particulates such as viruses and exosomes. The goal of this review is to introduce the latest advances in nanoplasmonic sensors for the biointerfacial sciences, including ongoing development of nanoparticle and nanohole arrays for exploring different classes of biomacromolecules interacting at solid–liquid interfaces. The measurement principles for nanoplasmonic sensors based on utilizing the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) and extraordinary optical transmission (EOT) phenomena are first introduced. The following sections are then categorized around different themes within the biointerfacial sciences, specifically protein binding and conformational changes, lipid membrane fabrication, membrane–protein interactions, exosome and virus detection and analysis, and probing nucleic acid conformations and binding interactions. Across these themes, we discuss the growing trend to utilize nanoplasmonic sensors for advanced measurement capabilities, including positional sensing, biomacromolecular conformation analysis, and real-time kinetic monitoring of complex biological interactions. Altogether, these advances highlight the rich potential of nanoplasmonic sensors and the future growth prospects of the community as a whole. With ongoing development of commercial nanoplasmonic sensors and analytical models to interpret corresponding measurement data in the context of biologically relevant interactions, there is significant opportunity to utilize nanoplasmonic sensing strategies for not only fundamental biointerfacial science, but also translational science applications related to clinical medicine and pharmaceutical drug development among countless possibilities.