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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2005 Oct;9(5):538-44.

Plasmon light scattering in biology and medicine: new sensing approaches, visions and perspectives.

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  • 1Institute of Fluorescence, Laboratory for Advanced Medical Plasmonics, Medical Biotechnology Center, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Surface plasmons are collective oscillations of free electrons at metallic surfaces. These oscillations can give rise to the intense colors of solutions of plasmon resonance nanoparticles and/or very intense scattering. While the use of plasmonic particle absorption based bioaffinity sensing is now widespread throughout biological research, the use of their scattering properties is relatively ill explored. We refer to the use, utility and control of surface plasmons as plasmonics. In this review and forward-looking article, we discuss the current opinions and uses of plasmonics, as well as speculate on areas of future research. These include the use of plasmon scatter for long-range immunosensing and macromolecular conformation studies, as well as the ability to Stokes shift plasmon scatter, a plasmonics phenomenon recently referred to as metal-enhanced fluorescence.

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