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Design of Raman reporter-embedded magnetic/plasmonic hybrid nanostirrers for reliable microfluidic SERS biosensors.

  • Zou, Bingfang1, 2
  • Lou, Shiyun1
  • Duan, Jie1
  • Zhou, Shaomin1
  • Wang, Yongqiang1
  • 1 Key Lab for Special Functional Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, China. [email protected]. , (China)
  • 2 School of Physics and Electronics, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, P. R. China. , (China)
Published Article
The Royal Society of Chemistry
Publication Date
Apr 24, 2023
DOI: 10.1039/d3nr00303e
PMID: 37093062


Magnetic-based microfluidic SERS biosensors hold great potential in various biological analyses due to their integrated advantages including easy manipulation, miniaturization and ultrasensitivity. However, it remains challenging to collect reliable SERS nanoprobe signals for quantitative analysis due to the irregular aggregation of magnetic carriers in a microfluidic chamber. Here, magnetic/plasmonic hybrid nanostirrers embedded with a Raman reporter are developed as capture carriers to improve the reliability of microfluidic SERS biosensors. Experimental results revealed that SERS signals from magnetic hybrid nanostirrers could serve as microenvironment beacons of their irregular aggregation, and a signal filtering method was proposed through exploring the relationship between the intensity range of beacons and the signal reproducibility of SERS nanoprobes using interleukin 6 as a model target analyte. Using the signal filtering method, reliable SERS nanoprobe signals with high reproducibility could be picked out from similar microenvironments according to their beacon intensity, and then the influence of irregular aggregation of magnetic carriers on the SERS nanoprobe could be eliminated. The filtered SERS nanoprobe signals also exhibited excellent repeatability from independent tests, which lay a solid foundation for a reliable working curve and subsequent accurate bioassay. This study provides a simple but promising route for reliable microfluidic SERS biosensors, which will further promote their practical application in biological analysis.

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