Slide-format proteomic biochips based on surface-enhanced nanocluster-resonance
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The most fundamental properties of metal nanoclusters, namely the high local-field enhancement and nanoscale resonance behavior of the cluster electron plasma when exited by electromagnetic radiation, have been used to set up a variety of sensors transducing biorecognitive interactions into optical signals. This paper focuses on applications of resonant-cluster technology, which enabled us to monitor biorecognitive binding of a variety of proteins on a chip, thus constructing high-throughput interaction-screening devices.
Decisive for this type of sensor is the nanometric distance from the local field surrounding a cluster to other parts of the sensor interacting with this field. In particular, the cluster–mirror or cluster–fluorophore distance gives rise to a variety of enhancement phenomena. Depending on the desired application this "resonance" – distance is approximately 5–400 nm.
All types of sensor can be set up on photolithographically constructed microchips, but microscopic glass slides can also be employed; this also enables the use of standard devices for dotting and read out.
Using slide based chips a standard format of 3200 microdots (125 µm in diameter) was the basis of either microassays applying direct optical transduction via surface-enhanced absorption or striking for more sensitivity via surface-enhanced fluorescence.
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