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We demonstrate a method that by design reproducibly exploits hot spots in metal nanoparticle aggregates for disease-specific enzyme detection using SERS. Crucially, the reporter molecule is placed within a self-assembled bioactive gold nanostructure, at the optimal EM hot spot position, overcoming the main problem of conventional SERS-active modalities. The scheme exploits the extreme sensitivity of SERS and demonstrates the principle for a method with the potential to be highly competitive with existing immunoassay methods. © 2009 American Chemical Society.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Physical Chemistry C

Publication Date





7231 - 7235