Silver–gold core-shell nanoparticles containing methylene blue as SERS labels for probing and imaging of live cells
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We report on silver–gold core-shell nanostructures that contain Methylene Blue (MB) at the gold–silver interface. They can be used as reporter molecules in surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) labels. The labels are stable and have strong SERS activity. TEM imaging revealed that these nanoparticles display bright and dark stripe structures. In addition, these labels can act as probes that can be detected and imaged through the specific Raman signatures of the reporters. We show that such SERS probes can identify cellular structures due to enhanced Raman spectra of intrinsic cellular molecules measured in the local optical fields of the core-shell nanostructures. They also provide structural information on the cellular environment as demonstrated for these nanoparticles as new SERS-active and biocompatible substrates for imaging of live cells.
KeywordsSurface-enhanced Raman scattering Ag/Au core-shell nanoparticles A549 cell SERS imaging
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.60778047), the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province of China (Grant No. 9251063101000009), Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (Grant No.20114407110001),the cooperation project in industry, education and research of Guangdong province and Ministry of Education of P.R.China (Grant No. 2011A090200011) and the Key Science and Technology Project of Guangzhou City of China (Grant No. 2008Z1-D391).
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