Characterization of the surface enhanced raman scattering (SERS) of bacteria.J Phys Chem B. 2005 Jan 13; 109(1):312-20.JP
The surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) of a number of species and strains of bacteria obtained on novel gold nanoparticle (approximately 80 nm) covered SiO(2) substrates excited at 785 nm is reported. Raman cross-section enhancements of >10(4) per bacterium are found for both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria on these SERS active substrates. The SERS spectra of bacteria are spectrally less congested and exhibit greater species differentiation than their corresponding non-SERS (bulk) Raman spectra at this excitation wavelength. Fluorescence observed in the bulk Raman emission of Bacillus species is not apparent in the corresponding SERS spectra. Despite the field enhancement effects arising from the nanostructured metal surface, this fluorescence component appears "quenched" due to an energy transfer process which does not diminish the Raman emission. The surface enhancement effect allows the observation of Raman spectra of single bacterial cells excited at low incident powers and short data acquisition times. SERS spectra of B. anthracis Sterne illustrate this single cell level capability. Comparison with previous SERS studies reveals how the SERS vibrational signatures are strongly dependent on the morphology and nature of the SERS active substrates. The potential of SERS for detection and identification of bacterial pathogens with species and strain specificity on these gold particle covered glassy substrates is demonstrated by these results.