Nanoparticle Photonics


Functionalisation of the silica-water interface with nanoparticles allows detection of biological processes by following the change in the particle plasmon resonance of a gold nanoparticle. The particle plasmon can be used to observe the chemical biology at the surface without having to add a fluorophore to proteins. The 2D-attogram SPR Imaging Basic Technology grant has been won to exploit this technology. The BT grant has its own website and the objectives are below.

The pharmaceutical industry has identified a need to extend its HTS capacity three-fold to provide better quality target screening for drug discovery. This research aims to develop the technology required for a ten-fold increase in screening capacity and improve the quality of the data recovered from each investigation. But our new basic technology will do more than discover drugs, it will open a new way of doing research – data driven discovery – that will revolutionise fundamental biology, diagnosis and medical therapy using genomic and post-genomic bioinformatics.

Aims and Objectives

  1. Develop the technology for a HTS 1024 x 1024 pixelated 2D-SPR imaged, bio-addressable array;
  2. Develop the technology for a 2D CMOS imaging camera with 1GHz temporal resolution, with a 10 nW light level at each pixel;
  3. Interrogate the fabricated array with evanescent wave cavity ring-down spectroscopy (e-CRDS), differential phase surface plasmon resonance (d-SPR) and fluorescence enhanced imaging (f-EI) in real time;
  4. Fabricate gold surfaces with nanostructured architecture to produce localised plasmon enhancement sensitivity;
  5. Apply the attogram ml-1 sensitivity to DNA array screening, for mutation detection and disease markers and pharmacokinetic data on protein – ligand binding;
  6. Demonstrate a proof-of-principle combinatorial chemistry library screening.


Read T, Olkhov RV, Shaw AM
Measurement of the localised plasmon penetration depth for gold nanoparticles using a non-invasive bio-stacking method. Phys Chem Chem Phys 15(16):6122-6127

2D Attogram SPR Imaging Concept

2D Attogram SPR Imaging Concept

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