Plasmonics involves the control of light at the nanoscale using surface plasmons. One particular area where plasmonics is expected to make an enoromous impact is the field of life sciences, with applications in bioimaging, biosensing, and targted and externally-triggered therapy. In the first part of this talk, we present a novel class of ultrabright surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) probes based on core-satellite and coreshell plasmonic nanostructures. We call the core-shell nanostructures as bi-layered Raman-intense gold nanostructures with hidden tags (BRIGHTs), which are nearly 20 times brighter compared to the existing SERS probes. Such BRIGHT probes can be incorporated into drug carrying vehicles (gold nanocages) to form multifunctional nanorattles that facilitate the monitoring of drug release non-invasively. In the second part of this talk, we demonstrate that a filter paper loaded with biofunctionalized metal nanoparticles enables the detection of target disease biomarkers in complex physiological fluids. Natural antibodies, which suffer from numerous shortcomings such as limited environmental and chemical stability, have been replaced with artificial antibodies by molecularly imprinting the plasmonic nanotransducers. Apart from significantly lowering the cost, these developments are critical for translating plasmonic sensors to point-of-care and resource-limited settings.
Dr. Singamaneni is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Washington University in St. Louis. He obtained his PhD in Polymer Materials Science and Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2009. His research group is involved in the design, synthesis and self-assembly of plasmonic nanostructures for various biomedical applications. He has co-authored nearly 90 refereed articles (including 8 invited reviews) in archival journals, 4 book chapters, and a book (Scanning Probe Microscopy of Soft Matter: Fundamentals and Practices). He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award (2013), Dean's Faculty Award for Innovation in Research (2013), Translational New Investigator Award, DOD-Army (2011) and MRS Graduate Student GOLD Award (Fall 2008). He is a member of Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, Center for Materials Innovation and Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences at Washington University.