We report a highly sensitive optical imaging technology using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-fluorescence dual modal nanoprobes (DMNPs). Fluorescence microscopy is a well-known imaging technique that shows specific protein distributions within cells. However, most currently available fluorescent organic dyes have relatively weak emission intensities and are rapidly photo-bleached. Thus more sensitive and stable probes are needed. In this work we develop DMNPs, which can be used for both SERS and fluorescence detection. SERS detection is a powerful technique that allows ultrasensitive chemical or biochemical analysis through unlimited multiplexing and single molecule sensitivity. Combining advantages of fluorescence and SERS allows these dual modal nanostructures to be used as powerful probes for novel biomedical imaging. In this work, the fabrication and characterization of the SERS-fluorescence DMNPs and application to biological imaging were investigated using markers CD24 and CD44, which are co-expressed in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, as a model system. SERS imaging with DMNPs was found to be a powerful tool to determine the co-localization of CD24 and CD44 in the cell.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Materials Science