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Biosens Bioelectron. 2008 Jan 18;23(6):886-91. Epub 2007 Sep 29.

Biological pH sensing based on surface enhanced Raman scattering through a 2-aminothiophenol-silver probe.

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  • 1Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics, SUNY at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, United States.


We report pH sensing for biological applications based on surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) from silver nanoparticles functionalized with 2-aminothiophenol (2-aminobenzenethiol, 2-ABT). pH-dependent SERS spectra of the attached 2-ABT molecules enable one to sense the pH over the range of 3.0-8.0. We have performed the first demonstration of SERS detection in living cells kept in different pH buffer solutions and show that the pH sensitivity is retained in that case. Thus, the nanoparticles can be used as probes delivering spatially localized chemical information from biological environments and provide a new way to monitor chemical changes at cellular level.

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