A nanoscale optical biosensor: Real-time immunoassay in physiological buffer enabled by improved nanoparticle adhesion

Jonathan C. Riboh, Amanda J. Haes, Adam D. McFarland, Chanda Ranjit Yonzon, Richard P. Van Duyne*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

444 Scopus citations


The shift in the extinction maximum, λmax of the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) spectrum of triangular Ag nanoparticles(∼90 nm wide and 50 nm high) is used to probe the interaction between a surface-confined antigen, biotin (B), and a solution-phase antibody, anti-biotin (AB). Exposure of biotin-functionalized Ag nanotriangles to 7 × 10-7 M < [AB] < 7 × 10-6 M caused a ∼38 nm red-shift in the LSPR λmax. The experimental normalized response of the LSPR λmax shift, (Δ/ΔRmax), versus [AB] was measured over the concentration range 7 × 10-10 M < [AB] < 7 × 10-6 M. Comparison of the experimental data with the theoretical normalized response for a 1:1 binding model yielded values for the saturation response,ΔRmax = 38.0 nm, the surface-confined thermodynamic constant, Ka,surf = 4.5 × 107 M-1, and the limit of detection (LOD) < 7 × 10-10 M. The experimental saturation response was interpreted in terms of a closest-packed structural model for the surface B-AB complex in which the long axis of AB, lAB = 15 nm, is oriented horizontally and the short axis, hAB = 4 nm is oriented vertically to the nanoparticle surface. This model yields a quantitative response for the saturation response, ΔRmax 40.6 nm, in good agreement with experiment, ΔRmax = 38.0 nm. An atomic force microscopy (AFM) study supports this interpretation. In addition, major improvements in the LSPR nanobiosensor are reported. The LSPR nanobiosensor substrate was changed from glass to mica, and a surfactant, Triton X-100, was used in the nanosphere lithography fabrication procedure. These changes increased the adhesion of the Ag nanotriangles by a factor of 9 as determined by AFM normal force studies. The improved adhesion of Ag nanotriangles now enables the study of the B-AB immunoassay in a physiologically relevant fluid environment as well as in real-time. These results represent important new steps in the development of the LSPR nanosensor for applications in medical diagnostics, biomedical research, and environmental science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1772-1780
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 27 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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