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Nano Lett. 2015 Mar 11;15(3):1766-72. doi: 10.1021/nl504444w. Epub 2015 Feb 11.

High resolution live cell Raman imaging using subcellular organelle-targeting SERS-sensitive gold nanoparticles with highly narrow intra-nanogap.

Author information

1
Laser Biomedical Research Center, G. R. Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory, and ‡Department of Mechanical and Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology , Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States.

Abstract

We report a method to achieve high speed and high resolution live cell Raman images using small spherical gold nanoparticles with highly narrow intra-nanogap structures responding to NIR excitation (785 nm) and high-speed confocal Raman microscopy. The three different Raman-active molecules placed in the narrow intra-nanogap showed a strong and uniform Raman intensity in solution even under transient exposure time (10 ms) and low input power of incident laser (200 μW), which lead to obtain high-resolution single cell image within 30 s without inducing significant cell damage. The high resolution Raman image showed the distributions of gold nanoparticles for their targeted sites such as cytoplasm, mitochondria, or nucleus. The high speed Raman-based live cell imaging allowed us to monitor rapidly changing cell morphologies during cell death induced by the addition of highly toxic KCN solution to cells. These results strongly suggest that the use of SERS-active nanoparticle can greatly improve the current temporal resolution and image quality of Raman-based cell images enough to obtain the detailed cell dynamics and/or the responses of cells to potential drug molecules.

KEYWORDS:

SERS; drug-screening; intra-nanogap gold nanoparticle; live cell Raman imaging

PMID:
25646716
PMCID:
PMC4356631
DOI:
10.1021/nl504444w
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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