Bifunctional nanoparticles for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy-based leukemia biomarker detection

Dora Mehn, Carlo Morasso, Renzo Vanna, Domitilla Schiumarini, Marzia Bedoni, Fabio Ciceri, Furio Gramatica

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Wilms tumor gene (WT1) is a biomarker overexpressed in more than 90% of acute myeloid leukemia patients. Fast and sensitive detection of the WT1 in blood samples would allow monitoring of the minimal residual disease during clinical remission and would permit early detection of a potential relapse in acute myeloid leukemia. In this work, Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) based detection of the WT1 sequence using bifunctional, magnetic core-gold shell nanoparticles is presented. The classical co-precipitation method was applied to generate magnetic nanoparticles which were coated with a gold shell after modification with aminopropyltriethoxy silane and subsequent deposition of gold nanoparticle seeds. Simple hydroquinone based reduction procedure was applied for the shell growing in water based reaction mixture at room temperature. Thiolated ssDNA probes of the WT1 sequence were immobilized as capture oligonucleotides on the gold surface. Malachite green was applied both for testing the amplification performance of the core-shell colloidal SERS substrate and also as label dye of the target DNA sequence. The SERS enhancer efficacy of the core-shell nanomaterial was compared with the efficacy of classical spherical gold particles produced using the conventional citrate reduction method. The core-shell particles were found not only to provide an opportunity for facile separation in a heterogeneous reaction system but also to be superior regarding robustness as SERS enhancers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISBN (Print)9780819498700
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventPlasmonics in Biology and Medicine XI - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 1 2014Feb 2 2014


OtherPlasmonics in Biology and Medicine XI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • biomarker
  • core-shell
  • leukemia
  • magnetic nanoparticle
  • malachite green
  • MRD
  • SERS
  • WT1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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