We aim to further improve early detection of cancer biomarkers, including metal ion and small molecules, using functional DNA as the selective component for photonic crystal surface enhanced Raman scattering (PC-SERS) based detection. It is known that gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) display SERS properties and that further enhancement of SERS active nanoparticles can occur when AuNP are deposited on a PC. To create this device we have synthesized AuNP of varying sizes and shapes, to adjust the surface plasmon resonance which ultimately affects the SERS enhancement provided by the PC. Furthermore, we have functionalized the AuNP with functional DNA which selectively reacts with the metal ion, and prostate cancer biomarker, zinc(II). Lastly, we report progress made in developing an aptamer for the small molecule, and debated prostate cancer biomarker, sarcosine.
Claire is a PhD student in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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