Atomic force microscopy and surface-enhanced Raman scattering detection of DNA based on DNA-nanoparticle complexes.Nanotechnology. 2009 Mar 25; 20(12):125502.N
We report a simple method for the label-free detection of double-stranded DNA using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). We prepared cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)-capped silver nanoparticles and a DNA-nanoparticle complex by adding silver nanoparticles to lambda-DNA solutions. In the present study, the utilization of CTAB-capped silver nanoparticles facilitates the electrostatic interaction between DNA molecules and silver nanoparticles; at the same time, the introduction of DNA avoids adding aggregating agent for the formation of nanoparticle aggregates to obtain large enhancement of DNA, because the DNA acts as both the probe molecules and aggregating agent of Ag nanoparticles. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) studies show that the morphology of DNA-Ag nanoparticle complexes seems to be determined by the concentrations of the DNA and the nanoparticles. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) studies show that the morphology of the complexes plays a significant role in the intensity of SERS signals of DNA, and the best signal enhancement of DNA can be obtained by fine-tuning the experimental parameters. The SERS spectrum affords important structural information about the bases, phosphate backbone, and the conformation of DNA after mixing the DNA solutions with the Ag sol.