Multiplex Detection of Cell Surface Markers using Plasmonic Sensors

By Joseph M K Irudayaraj

Purdue University

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Gold nanorod molecular probes (GNrMPs) were designed and fabricated for multiplex identification of cell surface markers in HBECs. Cells were probed directly using dark field microscopy integrated with a spectral imager for simultaneous detection of up to three surface markers. The immunophenotype composition of these cell lines indicative of their metastasis potential was assessed using the GNrMPs. Due to the high multiplexing capacity of gold nanorods, the multiplexing capability of the GNrMP assay could possibly be expanded to 15 or greater. The technique has the potential to become an important tool for diagnosis and prognosis of breast and other cancers.

Breast cancer has the highest incidence among women in the western world affecting up to 10% of women and therefore is among today’s most pressing health concerns.1 Despite improvements in diagnosis and treatment, the effect on mortality has been modest. Recent studies of breast cancer have identified a subpopulation (CD44+/CD24-) of breast cancer cells that demonstrated CSC properties.2 A direct relationship between progenitor states and invasive capacity of cancer cells (invasion being the first step in the metastasis cascade) was also established via flow cytometry analysis of various breast cancer cell lines for CD44 and CD24 phenotype and subsequent analysis of CD44+/CD24- (progenitors) and CD44-/CD24+ (non-progenitors) cells for invasion and metastasis using matrigel and xenograft models. It has been reported that five among 13 breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-436, Hs578T, SUM1315, and HBL-100) contained a higher percentage (>30%) of CD44+/CD24- cells.3 Hence, identification of cells of CD44+/CD24- immunophenotype within a population of tumor cells may have great value in terms of predicting the invasiveness and metastasis potential of the tumor. We report a procedure to fabricate gold nanorod molecular probes (GNrMP) and deploy these structures for multiplex detection(4-7) 10064.


Dr. Irudayaraj has a Bachelors degree in Engineering, a dual Masters respectively in Biosystems Engineering, and Computer Sciences from the University of Hawaii, and a Ph.D. in Food and Bioprocess Engineering from Purdue University. He has held faculty positions at the University of Saskatchewan, Utah State University, and in the most immediate past, from The Pennsylvania State University. He has held adjunct positions at the Materials Research Institute at Penn State and the Dept of Applied and Engineering Physics in Cornell University.

Their team has developed a range of spectroscopic and biosensor technologies for disease diagnostics and food security monitoring. Tracking protein interactions and monitoring and detecting the dynamic state of single molecule events in cells is addressed through techniques such as Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy, FRET, Fluorescence lifetime imaging, enhanced single cell Raman spectroscopy , Plasmonic sensing, and Optical Trap.

He has published over 130 refereed research articles in areas covering thermodynamics and viscoelactic modeling of biological systems, spectroscopic methods, bio and nanomaterial sensors, and is a member of American Chemical Society, Institute of Biological Engineering, Biophysical Society, and American Association for Clinical Chemistry.


In conjunction with: C. Yu, H. Nakshatri, S. Leavesley, B. Rajwa, P. Robinson.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Joseph M K Irudayaraj (2008), "Multiplex Detection of Cell Surface Markers using Plasmonic Sensors,"

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Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India