Development of uncoated near-spherical gold nanoparticles for the label-free quantification of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy
The Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) method based on gold nanoparticles as SERS substrate was investigated for the label-free detection and quantification of probiotic bacteria that are widely used in various pharmaceutical formulations. Indeed, the development of a simple and fast SERS method dedicated to the quantification of bacteria should be very useful for the characterization of such formulations in a more convenient way than the usually performed tedious and time-consuming conventional counting method. For this purpose, uncoated near-spherical gold nanoparticles were developed at room temperature by acidic treatment of star-like gold nanoparticle precursors. In this study, we first investigated the influence of acidic treatment conditions on both the nanoparticle physicochemical properties and SERS efficiency using Rhodamine 6G (R6G) as “model” analyte. Results highlighted that an effective R6G Raman signal enhancement was obtained by promoting chemical effect through R6G-anion interactions and by obtaining a suitable aggregation state of the nanoparticles. Depending on the nanoparticle synthesis conditions, R6G SERS signals were up to 102–103-fold greater than those obtained with star-like gold nanoparticles. The synthesized spherical gold nanoparticles were then successfully applied for the detection and quantification of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG). In that case, the signal enhancement was especially due to the combination of anion-induced chemical enhancement and nanoparticle aggregation on LGG cell wall consecutive to non-specific interactions. Both the simplicity and speed of the procedure, achieved under 30 min, including nanoparticle synthesis, sample preparation, and acquisition of SERS spectra, appeared as very relevant for the characterization of pharmaceutical formulations incorporating probiotics.
KeywordsSurface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rhodamine 6G Gold nanoparticles
The authors gratefully acknowledge Carole Farre from the Institute of Analytical Sciences for providing TEM images.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
- 2.Zhou H, Yang D, Ivleva NP, Mircescu NE, Niessner R, Haisch C. SERS detection of bacteria in water by in situ coating with Ag nanoparticles. Anal Chem. 2014;861:525–1533.Google Scholar
- 5.Hong S, Li X. Optimal size of gold nanoparticles for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy under different conditions. J Nanomater. 2013;2013:1–9.Google Scholar
- 32.Le Ru EC, Etchegoin PG. Principles of surface enhanced Raman scattering and related plasmonic effects. First ed. Elsevier ScienceGoogle Scholar
- 40.Akanny E, Bonhommé A, Bois L, Minot S, Bourgeois S, Bordes C, et al. Development and comparison of surface-enhanced Raman scattering gold substrates for in situ characterization of “model” analytes in organic and aqueous media. Chem Africa. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42250-019-00053-2.
- 45.Xu JX, Siriwardana K, Zhou Y, Zou S, Zhang D. Quantification of gold nanoparticle ultraviolet-visible extinction, absorption, and scattering cross-section spectra and scattering depolarization spectra: the effects of nanoparticle geometry, solvent composition, ligand functionalization, and nanoparticle aggregation. Anal Chem. 2018;90:785–93.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 53.Hildebrandt P, Keller S, Hoffmann A, Vanhecke F, Schrader B. Enhancement factor of surface-enhanced Raman scattering on silver and gold surfaces upon near-infrared excitation. Indication of an unusual strong contribution of the chemical effect. J Raman Spectrosc. 1993;24:791–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar