, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 55-64
Date: 06 Jun 2007

Application of Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for Detection of Beta Amyloid Using Nanoshells

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Currently, no methods exist for the definitive diagnosis of AD premortem. β-amyloid, the primary component of the senile plaques found in patients with this disease, is believed to play a role in its neurotoxicity. We are developing a nanoshell substrate, functionalized with sialic acid residues to mimic neuron cell surfaces, for the surface-enhanced Raman detection of β-amyloid. It is our hope that this sensing mechanism will be able to detect the toxic form of β-amyloid, with structural and concentration information, to aid in the diagnosis of AD and provide insight into the relationship between β-amyloid and disease progression. We have been successfully able to functionalize the nanoshells with the sialic acid residues to allow for the specific binding of β-amyloid to the substrate. We have also shown that a surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy response using nanoshells is stable and concentration-dependent with detection into the picomolar range.