Metal nanoparticles‐enhanced biosensors: synthesis, design and applications in fluorescence enhancement and surface‐enhanced Raman scattering

Mohammad Tavakkoliyaraki, Yen Nee Tan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Metal nanoparticles (NP) that exhibit localized surface plasmon resonance play an important role in metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF) and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Among the optical biosensors, MEF and SERS stand out to be the most sensitive techniques to detect a wide range of analytes from ions, biomolecules to macromolecules and microorganisms. Particularly, anisotropic metal NPs with strongly enhanced electric field at their sharp corners/edges under a wide range of excitation wavelengths are highly suitable for developing the ultrasensitive plasmon-enhanced biosensors. In this review, we first highlight the reliable methods for the synthesis of anisotropic gold NPs and silver NPs in high yield, as well as their alloys and composites with good control of size and shape. It is followed by the discussion of different sensing mechanisms and recent advances in the MEF and SERS biosensor designs. This includes the review of surface functionalization, bioconjugation and (directed/self) assembly methods as well as the selection/screening of specific biorecognition elements such as aptamers or antibodies for the highly selective bio-detection. The right combinations of metal nanoparticles, biorecognition element and assay design will lead to the successful development of MEF and SERS biosensors targeting different analytes both in-vitro and in-vivo. Finally, the prospects and challenges of metal-enhanced biosensors for future nanomedicine in achieving ultrasensitive and fast medical diagnostics, high-throughput drug discovery as well as effective and reliable theranostic treatment are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3180-3208
Number of pages29
JournalChemistry - An Asian Journal
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. 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.


  • Assay design
  • Fluorescence detection
  • Metal nanoparticles
  • Plasmonic enhancement
  • SERS Biosensors


Dive into the research topics of 'Metal nanoparticles‐enhanced biosensors: synthesis, design and applications in fluorescence enhancement and surface‐enhanced Raman scattering'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this