Nanostructure shape effects on response of plasmonic aptamer sensors

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A localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) sensor surface was fabricated by the deposition of gold nanorods on a glass substrate and subsequent immobilization of the DNA aptamer, which specifically bind to thrombin. This LSPR aptamer sensor showed a response of 6-nm λmax shift for protein binding with the detection limit of at least 10 pM, indicating one of the highest sensitivities achieved for thrombin detection by optical extinction LSPR. We also tested the LSPR sensor fabricated using gold bipyramid, which showed higher refractive index sensitivity than the gold nanorods, but the overall response of gold bipyramid sensor appears to be 25% less than that of the gold nanorod substrate, despite the approximately twofold higher refractive index sensitivity. XPS analysis showed that this is due to the low surface density of aptamers on the gold bipyramid compared with gold nanorods. The low surface density of the aptamers on the gold bipyramid surface may be due to the effect of shape of the nanostructure on the kinetics of aptamer monolayer formation. The small size of aptamers relative to other bioreceptors is the key to achieving high sensitivity by biosensors on the basis of LSPR, demonstrated here for protein binding. The generality of aptamer sensors for protein detection using gold nanorod and gold nanobipyramid substrates is anticipated to have a large impact in the important development of sensors toward biomarkers, environmental toxins, and warfare agents. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Journal of Molecular Recognition

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