Gold nanoparticles for biosensor development : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Philosphy in Chemistry, Institute of Fundamental Science, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Gold nanoparticles, are one of the most widely investigated nanoparticles (NP) and are normally synthesized by the reduction of metal salts in citrate solution. The reason for studying this nanostructured material from a technological standpoint is mainly the anticipated application in different areas based on optical properties explained with plasmon resonance. The main work of this study was to develop different sensing systems using gold nanoparticles. Three techniques have been utilized, being lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA), surface plasmon resonance (SPR), and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS).
A one-step semi-quantitative LFIA strip test was developed using colloidal gold coated by a partially-purified polyclonal antibody (pAb) raised in sheep as a signal generator, and bovine serum albumin-Estriol-16-glucuronide (BSA-E3-16G) conjugates as the capture agent spotted onto a nitrocellulose membrane as the test line. In this system, gold nanoparticles were applied for visualising the response. The application of the strip sensor to urinary samples from pregnant woman proved successful.
A quantitative evaluation of low levels of E3-16G in liquid media was developed based on SPR, which used the same pAb-nanogold conjugates employed for the LFIA analysis. The assay can be carried out directly on any urine samples without sample pretreatment. In this system, gold nanoparticles were utilized as high mass label to improve the sensitivity of the assay.
A SERS probe was developed which comprised of Raman reporter molecules (RRM) and gold NPs. Results showed that the conducting polymer materials of 3’-[(E)-2-(4-R-phenyl)ethenyl]-2’2’:5’,2”-terthiophene (R-pe3T, where R is NO2 or NH2) showed significant enhancement. Moreover, high bio-activity groups included in the compounds make them potential candidates for the development of a SERS based sensing system.