iSERS: from nanotag design to protein assays and ex vivo imaging

Namhyun Choi, Yuying Zhang, Yuling Wang*, Sebastian Schlücker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Proteins are an eminently important class of ubiquitous biomacromolecules with diverse biological functions, and numerous techniques for their detection, quantification, and localisation have been developed. Many of these methods exploit the selectivity arising from molecular recognition of proteins/antigens by immunoglobulins. The combination of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) with such “immuno”-techniques to immuno-SERS (iSERS) is the central topic of this review, which is focused on colloidal SERS nanotags, i.e., molecularly functionalised noble metal nanoparticles conjugated to antibodies, for their use in protein assays and ex vivo imaging. After contrasting the fundamental differences between label-free SERS and iSERS, including a balanced description of the advantages and drawbacks of the latter, we describe the usual workflow of iSERS experiments. Milestones in the development of the iSERS technology are summarised from a historical perspective. By highlighting selected examples from the literature, we illustrate the conceptual progress that has been achieved in the fields of iSERS-based protein assays and ex vivo imaging. Finally, we attempt to predict what is necessary to fully exploit the transformative potential of the iSERS technology by stimulating the transition from research in academic labs into applications for the benefit of our society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChemical Society Reviews
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2024. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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