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Nanonetwork Plasmonics Coupling Interference (NPCI)

Value Proposition

Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has attracted increasing interest in the development of novel analytical techniques for a variety of applications ranging from biomedical diagnostics, food safety, environmental monitoring, and homeland defense. Electromagnetic (EM) enhancement provides the main contribution in increasing the intrinsically weak normal Raman scattering cross-section. In addition, EM field is particularly strong in the interstitial space between the particles in addition to the EM enhancement contributed from individual particles. It has been observed that metal nanoparticles usually aggregate in a high ionic strength salt solution. However, this aggregation process is generally uncontrollable, thus seriously affecting the reproducibility of SERS measurements.


A new label-free method and system for SERS-based nucleic acid detection with PCI detection mechanism may have solved this problem. It also utilizes target oligonucleotides as competitive binding products to interfere with plasmonic coupling effect in nanonetworks. It was demonstrated that this PCI approach can be used to identify and discriminate DNA sequences with SNPs, and to detect specific miRNA sequences as a simple and rapid screening tool for cancer diagnosis. Furthermore, the highly specific and narrow SERS spectral peaks could allow multiple assays to be performed simultaneously in a single sample solution when using multiple Raman labels. The initial results of this study lay the foundation for the development of novel nucleic acid diagnostic tools that could have potential for a wide variety of applications based on nucleic acid detection to address the above sensing needs.


Label-free, nucleic acid bioassays for a variety of applications from biomedical diagnostics, food safety, environmental monitoring, and homeland defense.