Surface Plasmon Resonance and Surface Plasmon Field-Enhanced Fluorescence Spectroscopy for Sensitive Detection of Tumor Markers

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Surface plasmon resonance (SPR), which provides real-time, in situ analysis of dynamic surface events, is a valuable tool for studying interactions between biomolecules. In the clinical diagnosis of tumor markers in human blood, SPR is applied to detect the formation of a sandwich-type immune complex composed of a primary antibody immobilized on a sensor surface, the tumor marker, and a secondary antibody. However, the SPR signal is quite low due to the minute amounts (ng-pg/mL) of most tumor markers in blood. We have shown that the SPR signal can be amplified by applying an antibody against the secondary antibody or streptavidin-conjugated nanobeads that specifically accumulate on the secondary antibody. Another method employed for highly sensitive detection is the surface plasmon field-enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy-based immunoassay, which utilizes the enhanced electric field intensity at a metal/water interface to excite a fluorophore. Fluorescence intensity attributed to binding of a fluorophore-labeled secondary antibody is increased due to the enhanced field in the SPR condition and can be monitored in real time.