Boosting the Brightness of Raman Tags Using Cyanostar Macrocycles

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Raman probes have received growing attention for their potential use in super-multiplex biological imaging and flow cytometry applications that cannot be achieved using fluorescent probes. However, obtaining strong Raman scattering signals from small Raman probes has posed a challenge that holds back their practical implementation. Here, we present new types of Raman-active nanoparticles (Rdots) that incorporate ionophore macrocycles, known as cyanostars, to act as ion-driven and structure-directing spacers to address this problem. These macrocycle-enhanced Rdots (MERdots) exhibit sharper and higher electronic absorption peaks than Rdots. When combined with resonant broadband time-domain Raman spectroscopy, these MERdots show a ∼3-fold increase in Raman intensity compared to conventional Rdots under the same particle concentration. Additionally, the detection limit on the concentration of MERdots is improved by a factor of 2.5 compared to that of Rdots and a factor of 430 compared to that of Raman dye molecules in solution. The compact size of MERdots (26 nm in diameter) and their increased Raman signal intensity, along with the broadband capabilities of time-domain resonant Raman spectroscopy, make them promising candidates for a wide range of biological applications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number34
Pages (from-to)12835-12841
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2023

ID: 363512121