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Sensitive and molecular size-selective detection of proteins using a chip-based and heteroliganded gold nanoisland by localized surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy

Surin Hong, Suseung Lee and Jongheop Yi*

Author Affiliations

World Class University (WCU) Program of Chemical Convergence for Energy & Environment (C2E2), School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Institute of Chemical Processes, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-744, Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:336  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-336

Published: 14 April 2011


A highly sensitive and molecular size-selective method for the detection of proteins using heteroliganded gold nanoislands and localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) is described. Two different heteroligands with different chain lengths (3-mercaptopionicacid and decanethiol) were used in fabricating nanoholes for the size-dependent separation of a protein in comparison with its aggregate. Their ratios on gold nanoisland were optimized for the sensitive detection of superoxide dismutase (SOD1). This protein has been implicated in the pathology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Upon exposure of the optimized gold nanoisland to a solution of SOD1 and aggregates thereof, changes in the LSPR spectra were observed which are attributed to the size-selective and covalent chemical binding of SOD1 to the nanoholes. With a lower detection limit of 1.0 ng/ml, the method can be used to selectively detect SOD1 in the presence of aggregates at the molecular level.