A rapid and simple approach is presented to address two critical issues of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-based immunoassay such as removal/avoiding nonspecific adsorption and reducing assay time. The approach demonstrated involves rationally designed fluorophore-integrated gold/silver nanoshells as SERS nanotags and utilizes alternative current electrohydrodynamic (ac-EHD)-induced nanoscaled surface shear forces to enhance the capture kinetics. The assay performance was validated in comparison with hydrodynamic flow and conventional immunoassay-based devices. These nanoscaled physical forces acting within nanometer distances from the electrode surface enabled rapid (40 min), sensitive (10 fg/mL), and highly specific detection of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 in breast cancer patient samples. We believe this approach presents potential for the development of rapid and sensitive SERS immunoassays for routine clinical diagnosis.
- nonspecific adsorption
- shear force