, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 107–118 | Cite as

Review of Some Interesting Surface Plasmon Resonance-enhanced Properties of Noble Metal Nanoparticles and Their Applications to Biosystems

  • Prashant K. Jain
  • Xiaohua Huang
  • Ivan H. El-Sayed
  • Mostafa A. El-SayedEmail author


Noble metal, especially gold (Au) and silver (Ag) nanoparticles exhibit unique and tunable optical properties on account of their surface plasmon resonance (SPR). In this review, we discuss the SPR-enhanced optical properties of noble metal nanoparticles, with an emphasis on the recent advances in the utility of these plasmonic properties in molecular-specific imaging and sensing, photo-diagnostics, and selective photothermal therapy. The strongly enhanced SPR scattering from Au nanoparticles makes them useful as bright optical tags for molecular-specific biological imaging and detection using simple dark-field optical microscopy. On the other hand, the SPR absorption of the nanoparticles has allowed their use in the selective laser photothermal therapy of cancer. We also discuss the sensitivity of the nanoparticle SPR frequency to the local medium dielectric constant, which has been successfully exploited for the optical sensing of chemical and biological analytes. Plasmon coupling between metal nanoparticle pairs is also discussed, which forms the basis for nanoparticle assembly-based biodiagnostics and the plasmon ruler for dynamic measurement of nanoscale distances in biological systems.


Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) SPR sensing Mie scattering Metal nanocrystals for biodiagnostics Photothermal therapy Plasmon coupling 



The authors would like to thank current and past members of the Laser Dynamics Laboratory who also contributed to the work described in this paper: Stephan Link, Mona Mohamed, Kyeong-Seok Lee, Susie Eustis, and Wei Qian. M. A. E. thanks the Miller Foundation for support during his tenure as a Miller visiting professor at UC Berkeley. The financial support of the Chemical Science, Geosciences, and Bioscience Division of the Department of Energy (No: DE-FG02-97 ER14799) is acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Prashant K. Jain
    • 1
  • Xiaohua Huang
    • 1
  • Ivan H. El-Sayed
    • 2
  • Mostafa A. El-Sayed
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Laser Dynamics Laboratory, School of Chemistry and BiochemistryGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Comprehensive Cancer CenterUniversity of California at San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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