SERS of cells: What can we learn from cell lysates?

E. Genova, M. Pelin, G. Decorti, G. Stocco, V. Sergo, A. Ventura, A. Bonifacio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a promising and emerging technique to analyze the cellular environment. We developed an alternative, rapid and label-free SERS-based method to get information about the cellular environment by analyzing cells lysates, thus avoiding the need to incorporate nanoparticles into cells. Upon sonicating and filtrating cells, we obtained lysates which, mixed with Au or Ag nanoparticles, yield stable and repeatable SERS spectra, whose overall profile depends on the metal used as substrate, but not on the buffer used for the lysis process. Bands appearing in these spectra were shown to arise mostly from the cytosol and were assigned to adenine, guanine, adenosine and reduced glutathione (GSH). Spectral differences among various cell types also demonstrated that this approach is suitable for cell type identification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - Apr 16 2018


  • Cell lysates
  • Gold
  • Nanoparticles
  • Raman
  • SERS
  • Silver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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