Microfluidic Designing Microgels Containing Highly Concentrated Gold Nanoparticles for SERS Analysis of Complex Fluids

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Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is one of the most promising methods to detect small molecules for point-of-care analysis as it is rapid, nondestructive, label-free, and applicable for aqueous samples. Here, microgels containing highly concentrated yet evenly dispersed gold nanoparticles are designed to provide SERS substrates that simultaneously achieve contamination-free metal surfaces and high signal enhancement and reproducibility. With capillary microfluidic devices, water-in-oil-in-water (W/O/W) double-emulsion drops are prepared to contain gold nanoparticles and hydrogel precursors in innermost drop. Under hypertonic condition, water is selectively pumped out from the innermost drops. Therefore, gold nanoparticles are gently concentrated without forming aggregates, which are then captured by hydrogel matrix. The resulting microgels have a concentration of gold nanoparticles approximate to 30 times higher and show Raman intensity two orders of magnitude higher than those with no enrichment. In addition, even distribution of gold nanoparticles results in uniform Raman intensity, providing high signal reproducibility. Moreover, as the matrix of the microgel serves as a molecular filter, large adhesive proteins are rejected, which enables the direct detection of small molecules dissolved in the protein solution. It is believed that this advanced SERS platform is useful for in situ detection of toxic molecules in complex mixtures such as biological fluids, foods, and cosmetics.
Publisher
WILEY-V C H VERLAG GMBH
Issue Date
2019-12
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

SMALL, v.15, no.52, pp.1905076

ISSN
1613-6810
DOI
10.1002/smll.201905076
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/271418
Appears in Collection
CBE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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