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Anal Chem. 1998 Sep 15;70(18):3898-905.

Enhancement of molecular fluorescence near the surface of colloidal metal films.

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  • 1Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University 50011, USA.


Fluorescence enhancement was studied on silver colloidal metal films (CMFs) using two systems: (1) Langmuir--Blodgett monolayers of fluorescein-labeled phospholipids separated from the surface of the films by spacer layers of octadecanoic acid and (2) biotin--fluorescein conjugates captured by avidin molecules adsorbed on top of a multilayer structure formed by alternating layers of bovine serum albumin--biotin conjugate (BSA--biotin) and avidin. The dependence of fluorescence intensity on the number of lipid or protein spacer layers deposited on the surface of the CMF was investigated. The results demonstrate the requirement for adsorbate location within the region between Ag particles for maximal enhancement. The density of avidin molecules on the surface of the BSA--biotin/avidin multilayers adsorbed on the CMF was also determined. A procedure for forming a rigid, uniform silica layer around the Ag particles on the CMF is described. The layer protects the particles from undesirable chemical reactions such as etching by halide ions, for example, and provides the requisite stability for bioanalytical applications. Colloidal films composed of Ag particles covered by approximately 10-nm-thick silica layers were tested for fluorescence enhancement using goat immunoglobulin and a conjugate of rabbit anti-goat immunoglobulin with 6-(N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)-amino)hexanoate. An enhancement factor of approximately 20 was obtained.

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