Project 2: Ultra-fast Ultra-sensitive Pathogen Biosensing and Diagnosis without Markers, Using Molecular Coding and SERS Detection. (QF1, QO1).
Description and objectives:
1. Design, developing and optimization of plasmonic structures of gold, silver and their alloys, capable of focusing intense electromagnetic fields in specific regions of its volume space.
2. Optimization of plasmonic nanoparticle / metal film, to maximize the coupling between the resonances of localized plasmon of nanoparticles and evanescent plasmon of metallic film in order to increase the quantum confinement and, consequently, the Raman signal of molecular encoder.
3. Design and development of methods of synthesis of aromatic molecular encoders able to simultaneously bind to two surfaces of gold or silver and a protein (antibody or antigen), and having a variable functional group capable of modifying the SERS spectrum.
4. Design and development of new methods of coupling between proteins and solid surfaces based on "click-chemistry".
5. Design of microfluidic systems for specific recognition reactions between cell and molecular encoder.
6. Proof of concept of multiplex determination of the presence of pathogenic agents in a microfluidic system for high performance screening.
The project's achievements so far are as follows:
1. There have been synthesized metal nanoparticles.
2. We have designed and synthesized molecular encoders based on trisubstituted aromatic rings of naphthalene with various functional groups capable of modifying the SERS spectrum.
3. It's been designed and developed the method of coupling between proteins and solid surfaces based on "click-chemistry" using a cyclooctene, in order to avoid complications due to the presence of copper catalyst of the traditional method.