Surface plasmon enhanced light scattering biosensing: Size dependence on the gold nanoparticle tag

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Sensors (Switzerland), 2019, 19 (2)
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© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Surface plasmon enhanced light scattering (SP-LS) is a powerful new sensing SPR modality that yields excellent sensitivity in sandwich immunoassay using spherical gold nanoparticle (AuNP) tags. Towards further improving the performance of SP-LS, we systematically investigated the AuNP size effect. Simulation results indicated an AuNP size-dependent scattered power, and predicted the optimized AuNPs sizes (i.e., 100 and 130 nm) that afford extremely high signal enhancement in SP-LS. The maximum scattered power from a 130 nm AuNP is about 1700-fold higher than that obtained from a 17 nm AuNP. Experimentally, a bio-conjugation protocol was developed by coating the AuNPs with mixture of low and high molecular weight PEG molecules. Optimal IgG antibody bioconjugation conditions were identified using physicochemical characterization and a model dot-blot assay. Aggregation prevented the use of the larger AuNPs in SP-LS experiments. As predicted by simulation, AuNPs with diameters of 50 and 64 nm yielded significantly higher SP-LS signal enhancement in comparison to the smaller particles. Finally, we demonstrated the feasibility of a two-step SP-LS protocol based on a gold enhancement step, aimed at enlarging 36 nm AuNPs tags. This study provides a blue-print for the further development of SP-LS biosensing and its translation in the bioanalytical field.
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