, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 55–64 | Cite as

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

  • Hope T. Beier
  • Christopher B. Cowan
  • I-Hsien Chou
  • James Pallikal
  • James E. Henry
  • Melodie E. Benford
  • Joseph B. Jackson
  • Theresa A. Good
  • Gerard L. Coté


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.


Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy SERS Raman spectroscopy Nanoshells β-amyloid Alzheimer’s disease Congo red Self-assembled monolayer 



The authors acknowledge the support of the National Institutes of Health (grant no. STTR-1R41AG025586-01 and grant no. R21-NS050346-01). The authors acknowledge the support of the Air Force (STTR FA9550-05-C-0019). Hope Beier acknowledges the support of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hope T. Beier
    • 1
  • Christopher B. Cowan
    • 2
  • I-Hsien Chou
    • 1
  • James Pallikal
    • 2
  • James E. Henry
    • 2
    • 4
  • Melodie E. Benford
    • 1
  • Joseph B. Jackson
    • 3
  • Theresa A. Good
    • 2
  • Gerard L. Coté
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemical & Biochemical EngineeringUniversity of Maryland Baltimore CountyBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Nanospectra Biosciences, Inc.HoustonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Chemical EngineeringLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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