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Facile Synthesis of Au-Coated Magnetic Nanoparticles and Their Application in Bacteria Detection via a SERS Method

Wang, Junfeng, Wu, Xuezhong, Wang, Chongwen, Rong, Zhen, Ding, Hongmei, Li, Hui, Li, Shaohua, Shao, Ningsheng, Dong, Peitao, Xiao, Rui, Wang, Shengqi
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2016 v.8 no.31 pp. 19958-19967
Raman spectroscopy, Staphylococcus aureus, antibodies, bacteria, detection limit, electrostatic interactions, gold, hydroxylamine, immunoassays, intermediate product, microbial detection, nanocomposites, nanogold, nanoparticles, wavelengths
This study proposes a facile method for synthesis of Au-coated magnetic nanoparticles (AuMNPs) core/shell nanocomposites with nanoscale rough surfaces. MnFe₂O₄ nanoparticles (NPs) were first modified with a uniform polyethylenimine layer (2 nm) through self-assembly under sonication. The negatively charged Au seeds were then adsorbed on the surface of the MnFe₂O₄ NPs through electrostatic interaction for Au shell formation. Our newly developed sonochemically assisted hydroxylamine seeding growth method was used to grow the adsorbed gold seeds into large Au nanoparticles (AuNPs) to form a nanoscale rough Au shell. Au-coated magnetic nanoparticles (AuMNPs) were obtained from the intermediate product (Au seeds decorated magnetic core) under sonication within 5 min. The AuMNPs were highly uniform in size and shape and exhibited satisfactory surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) activity and strong magnetic responsivity. PATP was used as a probe molecule to evaluate the SERS performance of the synthesized AuMNPs with a detection limit of 10–⁹ M. The synthesized AuMNPs were conjugated with Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) antibody for bacteria capture and separation. The synthesized plasmonic AuNR–DTNB NPs, whose LSPR wavelength was adjusted to the given laser excitation wavelength (785 nm), were conjugated with S. aureus antibody to form a SERS tag for specific recognition and report of the target bacteria. S. aureus was indirectly detected through SERS based on sandwich-structured immunoassay, with a detection limit of 10 cells/mL. Moreover, the SERS intensity at Raman peak of 1331 cm–¹ exhibited a linear relationship to the logarithm of bacteria concentrations ranging from 10¹ cells/mL to 10⁵ cells/mL.