SERS as a Novel Transducer for Nucleic Acid Detection: a Proof of Concept for Point-of-Care Analysis

Literature seminar abstract

Nucleic acid hybridization is a phenomenon of great interest to bioanalytical chemists. High specificity of sensor-analyte coupling offers selective detection with low interference, and the unique sequences found in specific cells allows an almost limitless number of bioanalytical questions to be answered by changing the target sequence.1 While established techniques such as fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), Southern and Northern blotting, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are effective at identifying target sequences of interest, these methods are relatively expensive and time-consuming, along with requiring advanced equipment and technical expertise. Using established origami-inspired   3-D paper-based analytical device (oPAD) technology,2,3 a bioanalytical test has been developed to detect microRNA (miRNA) using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) as a novel transducer.4 Hybridization-induced aggregation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) generates a strong SERS signal with low limits of detection and good sequence selectivity. This proof of concept could be applied to point-of-care diagnostics as a rapid, portable, and inexpensive alternative for testing genetic diseases, infections, and cancers.



(1)       Gooding, J. J. Electroanalysis. 2002, pp 1149–1156.

(2)       Liu, H.; Crooks, R. M. J. Am. Chem. Soc 2011, 133, 17564–17566.

(3)       Scida, K.; Li, B.; Ellington, A. D.; Crooks, R. M. Anal. Chem. 2013, 85 (20), 9713–9720.

(4)       Qi, L.; Xiao, M.; Wang, X.; Wang, C.; Wang, L.; Song, S.; Qu, X.; Li, L.; Shi, J.; Pei, H. Anal. Chem. 2017, acs.analchem.7b01861.

Division(s): Analytical

Speaker: John Kean

Speaker Institution: Colorado State University

Event Date: 10-25-2017

Event Time: 4:00 PM

Event Location: Chemistry A101

Mixer Time: 3:45 PM

Mixer Location: Chemistry B101E

Host: A. Kennan