Highly sensitive, reliable assays with strong multiplexing capability for detecting nucleic acid targets are significantly important for diagnosing various diseases, particularly severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The nanomaterial-based assay platforms suffer from several critical issues such as non-specific binding and highly false-positive results. In this paper, to overcome such limitations, we reported sensitive and remarkably reproducible magnetic microparticles (MMPs) and a surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-based assay using stable silver nanoparticle clusters for detecting viral nucleic acids. The MMP-SERS-based assay exhibited a sensitivity of 1.0 fM, which is superior to the MMP-fluorescence-based assay. In addition, in the presence of anisotropic Ag nanostructures (nanostars and triangular nanoplates), the assay exhibited greatly enhanced sensitivity (10 aM) and excellent signal reproducibility. This assay platform intrinsically eliminated the non-specific binding that occurs in the target detection step, and the controlled formation of stable silver nanoparticle clusters in solution enabled the remarkable reproducibility of the results. These findings indicate that this assay can be employed for future practical bioanalytical applications.
- attomolar sensitivity
- magnetic microparticles
- nucleic acid target detection
- silver nanoparticles
- surface-enhanced Raman scattering
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)