Nucleic Acid–Nanoparticle Conjugate Sensors for Use with Surface Enhanced Resonance Raman Scattering (SERRS)
The ability to detect DNA relating to a specific disease is at the forefront of current research in molecular diagnostics. The detection techniques utilised for such work need to afford excellent selectivity as well as sensitivity. Current methods commonly involve the use of fluorescence, however there has been a heightened interest in the use of surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering [SE(R)RS] for these purposes in recent years because of the numerous advantages SE(R)RS offer over fluorescence. Nanoparticles are often selected as the SE(R)RS substrate of choice. These nanoparticles can undergo a number of functionalisation steps in order for them either to act as labels for detection, to detect specific target molecules, or to perform both tasks simultaneously. These SE(R)RS detection techniques can be performed in two ways: by the use of small molecules to produce nanoparticle-tags, or by monitoring a nanoparticle assembly process that results in a signal. This chapter focuses on the use of DNA–nanoparticle conjugates and their use for DNA detection by SE(R)RS.