Protein Quantification and Imaging by Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy and Similarity Analysis

Hyunku Shin, Seunghyun Oh, Daehyeon Kang, Yeonho Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Protein quantification techniques such as immunoassays have been improved considerably, but they have several limitations, including time-consuming procedures, low sensitivity, and extrinsic detection. Because direct surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) can detect intrinsic signals of proteins, it can be used as an effective detection method. However, owing to the complexity and reliability of SERS signals, SERS is rarely adopted for quantification without a purified target protein. This study reports an efficient and effective direct SERS-based immunoassay (SERSIA) technique for protein quantification and imaging. SERSIA relies on the uniform coating of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) on a target-protein-immobilized substrate by simple centrifugation. As centrifugation induces close contact between the GNPs and target proteins, the intrinsic signals of the target protein can be detected. For quantification, the protein levels in a cell lysate are estimated using similarity analysis between antibody-only and protein-conjugated samples. This method reliably estimates the protein level at a sub-picomolar detection limit. Furthermore, this method enables quantitative imaging of immobilized protein at a micrometer range. Because this technique is fast, sensitive, and requires only one type of antibody, this approach can be a useful method to detect proteins in biological samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1903638
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (Grant No. HR14C‐0007‐060020) and the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (Grant No. NRF‐2017R1E1A1A01075147).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • plasmonics
  • protein imaging
  • protein quantification
  • similarity analysis
  • surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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