Rapid and sensitive SERS detection of the cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (tnf-α) in a magnetic bead pull-down assay with purified and highly Raman-active gold nanoparticle clusters

Yuming Lai, Sebastian Schlücker, Yuling Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) is a cytokine with significance in early diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases, obesity and insulin resistance. We demonstrate the proof of concept for a rapid and sensitive detection of TNF-α using a magnetic bead pull-down assay in combination with surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). The use of purified and highly SERS-active small clusters of gold nanoparticles (AuNP) provides the high sensitivity of the assay with a limit of detection of ca. 1 pg/mL. Continuous density gradient centrifugation was employed for separating the very bright silica-encapsulated AuNP dimers and trimers from the significantly weaker AuNP monomers. Negative control experiments with other cytokines (IL-6, IL-8) and bovine serum albumin (BSA) confirm the high specificity of the assay, but indicate also space for future improvements by further reducing non-specific binding between proteins and the SERS nanotags. The multiplexing potential of this SERS-based detection scheme is exemplarily demonstrated by using a set of three spectrally distinct and highly SERS-active AuNP clusters with unique spectral barcodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5993–6000
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical and bioanalytical chemistry
Volume410
Issue number23
Early online date30 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

Keywords

  • Silica encapsulation
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Surface-enhanced Raman scattering
  • TNF-α
  • Multiplexing

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