Raman-encoded, multivalent glycan-nanoconjugates for traceable specific binding and killing of bacteria†
Glycan recognition plays key roles in cell–cell and host–pathogen interactions, stimulating widespread interest in developing multivalent glycoconjugates with superior binding affinity for biological and medical uses. Here, we explore the use of Raman-encoded silver coated gold nanorods (GNRs) as scaffolds to form multivalent glycoconjugates. The plasmonic scaffolds afford high-loading of glycan density and their optical properties offer the possibilities of monitoring and quantitative analysis of glycan recognition. Using E. coli strains with tailored on/off of the FimH receptors, we have demonstrated that Raman-encoded GNRs not only allow for real-time imaging and spectroscopic detection of specific binding of the glycan–GNR conjugates with bacteria of interest, but also cause rapid eradication of the bacteria due to the efficient photothermal conversion of GNRs in the near-infrared spectral window. We envision that optically active plasmonic glycoconjugates hold great potential for screening multivalent glycan ligands for therapeutic and diagnostic applications.