If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.


Analytical Chemistry

Tip-Enhanced Raman Detects Interactions On Cell Surfaces

ACS Meeting News: Spectroscopic method monitors interactions without need for chemical modifications

by Celia Henry Arnaud
August 27, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 35

Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) can be used to probe the interactions of receptors and ligands on cell membranes, reported Zachary D. Schultz of the University of Notre Dame. TERS gives Schultz and his coworkers a way to monitor molecules on cell surfaces without chemical modifications that could perturb the system. In TERS, a metal nanoparticle attached to an atomic force microscope tip is used to enhance Raman signals. The signal can be enhanced even more with ligand-conjugated metal nanoparticles. So Schultz used TERS to examine how antigen-labeled gold nanoparticles bind the antibody immunoglobulin G on cancer cell surfaces (Anal. Chem., DOI: 10.1021/ac301739k). The nanoparticle is incorporated into the membrane but remains on the surface; TERS distance sensitivity means that nanoparticles inside the cell can’t be detected. The large antibody swamps other contributions to the TERS spectrum, but previous experiments with biotin and streptavidin suggested that TERS spectra contain information about interactions between proteins and nearby molecules in the membrane.


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.