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18 February 2009 Sensitive molecular diagnostics using surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS)
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Surface enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS) is an analytical technique with several advantages over competitive techniques in terms of improved sensitivity and multiplexing. We have made great progress in the development of SERRS as a quantitative analytical method, in particular for the detection of DNA. SERRS is an extremely sensitive and selective technique which when applied to the detection of labelled DNA sequences allows detection limits to be obtained which rival, and in most cases, are better than fluorescence. Here the conditions are explored which will enable the successful detection of DNA using SERRS. The enhancing surface which is used is crucial and in this case suspensions of nanoparticles were used as they allow quantitative behaviour to be achieved and allow analogous systems to current fluorescence based systems to be made. The aggregation conditions required to obtain SERRS of DNA are crucial and herein we describe the use of spermine as an aggregating agent. The nature of the label which is used, be it fluorescent, positively or negatively charged also effects the SERRS response and these conditions are again explored here. We have clearly demonstrated the ability to identify the components of a mixture of 5 analytes in solution by using two different excitation wavelengths and also of a 6-plex using data analysis techniques. These conditions will allow the use of SERRS for the detection of target DNA in a meaningful diagnostic assay.
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Karen Faulds, Duncan Graham, Fiona McKenzie, Douglas MacRae, Alastair Ricketts, and Jennifer Dougan "Sensitive molecular diagnostics using surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS)", Proc. SPIE 7192, Plasmonics in Biology and Medicine VI, 719204 (18 February 2009);

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