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Nanotheranostics. 2019 Feb 8;3(1):113-119. doi: 10.7150/ntno.30924. eCollection 2019.

Alkyne- and Nitrile-Anchored Gold Nanoparticles for Multiplex SERS Imaging of Biomarkers in Cancer Cells and Tissues.

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College of Chemistry, Research Center for Analytical Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Medicinal Chemical Biology, and Tianjin Key Laboratory of Molecular Recognition and Biosensing, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China.
Department of Radiology, The Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410013, China.


Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has proven a powerful tool for multiplex detection and imaging due to its narrow peak width and high sensitivity. However, conventional SERS reporters are limited to thiolated compounds, which have limitations such as chemical stability and spectral overlap. Here, we used alkyne- and nitrile-bearing molecules to directly fabricate a set of SERS tags for multiplex imaging. The alkyne and nitrile groups act as both the anchoring points to interact with gold nanoparticle (AuNP) surfaces and the reporters exhibiting strong and nonoverlapping signals in the cellular Raman-silent region. The SERS tags were subsequently modified with different antibodies for multicolor imaging of cancer cells and human breast cancer tissues. The reporters have a simple and readily accessible structure, hence providing new opportunities to prepare SERS nanoprobes.


background-free detection; gold nanoparticles; multicolor imaging; surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

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