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AUTHOR Silvestri, Alessandro and Criado, Alejandro and Poletti, Fabrizio and Wang, Faxing and Fanjul-Bolado, Pablo and González-García, María B. and García-Astrain, Clara and Liz-Marzán, Luis M. and Feng, Xinliang and Zanardi, Chiara and Prato, Maurizio
Title Bioresponsive, Electroactive, and Inkjet-Printable Graphene-Based Inks [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Functional Materials
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Abstract
Abstract With the advent of flexible electronics, the old fashioned and conventional solid-state technology will be replaced by conductive inks combined with low-cost printing techniques. Graphene is an ideal candidate to produce conductive inks, due to its excellent conductivity and zero bandgap. The possibility to chemically modify graphene with active molecules opens up the field of responsive conductive inks. Herein, a bioresponsive, electroactive, and inkjet-printable graphene ink is presented. The ink is based on graphene chemically modified with selected enzymes and an electrochemical mediator, to transduce the products of the enzymatic reaction into an electron flow, proportional to the analyte concentration. A water-based formulation is engineered to be respectful with the enzymatic activity while matching the stringent requirements of inkjet printing. The efficient electrochemical performance of the ink, as well as a proof-of-concept application in biosensing, is demonstrated. The versatility of the system is demonstrated by modifying graphene with various oxidoreductases, obtaining inks with selectivity toward glucose, lactate, methanol, and ethanol.
AUTHOR Plou, Javier and Charconnet, Mathias and García, Isabel and Calvo, Javier and Liz-Marzán, Luis M.
Title Preventing Memory Effects in Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Substrates by Polymer Coating and Laser-Activated Deprotection [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings ACS Nano
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Abstract
The development of continuous monitoring systems requires in situ sensors that are capable of screening multiple chemical species and providing real-time information. Such in situ measurements, in which the sample is analyzed at the point of interest, are hindered by underlying problems derived from the recording of successive measurements within complex environments. In this context, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy appears as a noninvasive technology with the ability of identifying low concentrations of chemical species as well as resolving dynamic processes under different conditions. To this aim, the technique requires the use of a plasmonic substrate, typically made of nanostructured metals such as gold or silver, to enhance the Raman signal of adsorbed molecules (the analyte). However, a common source of uncertainty in real-time SERS measurements originates from the irreversible adsorption of (analyte) molecules onto the plasmonic substrate, which may interfere in subsequent measurements. This so-called “SERS memory effect” leads to measurements that do not accurately reflect varying conditions of the sample over time. We introduce herein the design of plasmonic substrates involving a nonpermeable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) thin layer on top of the plasmonic nanostructure, toward controlling the adsorption of molecules at different times. The polymeric layer can be locally degraded by irradiation with the same laser used for SERS measurements (albeit at a higher fluence), thereby creating a micrometer-sized window on the plasmonic substrate available to molecules present in solution at a selected measurement time. Using SERS substrates coated with such thermolabile polymer layers, we demonstrate the possibility of performing over 10,000 consecutive measurements per substrate as well as accurate continuous monitoring of analytes in microfluidic channels and biological systems. The development of continuous monitoring systems requires in situ sensors that are capable of screening multiple chemical species and providing real-time information. Such in situ measurements, in which the sample is analyzed at the point of interest, are hindered by underlying problems derived from the recording of successive measurements within complex environments. In this context, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy appears as a noninvasive technology with the ability of identifying low concentrations of chemical species as well as resolving dynamic processes under different conditions. To this aim, the technique requires the use of a plasmonic substrate, typically made of nanostructured metals such as gold or silver, to enhance the Raman signal of adsorbed molecules (the analyte). However, a common source of uncertainty in real-time SERS measurements originates from the irreversible adsorption of (analyte) molecules onto the plasmonic substrate, which may interfere in subsequent measurements. This so-called “SERS memory effect” leads to measurements that do not accurately reflect varying conditions of the sample over time. We introduce herein the design of plasmonic substrates involving a nonpermeable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) thin layer on top of the plasmonic nanostructure, toward controlling the adsorption of molecules at different times. The polymeric layer can be locally degraded by irradiation with the same laser used for SERS measurements (albeit at a higher fluence), thereby creating a micrometer-sized window on the plasmonic substrate available to molecules present in solution at a selected measurement time. Using SERS substrates coated with such thermolabile polymer layers, we demonstrate the possibility of performing over 10,000 consecutive measurements per substrate as well as accurate continuous monitoring of analytes in microfluidic channels and biological systems.
AUTHOR García-Astrain, Clara and Lenzi, Elisa and Jimenez de Aberasturi, Dorleta and Henriksen-Lacey, Malou and Binelli, Marco R. and Liz-Marzán, Luis M.
Title 3D-Printed Biocompatible Scaffolds with Built-In Nanoplasmonic Sensors [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Functional Materials
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Abstract 3D printing strategies have acquired great relevance toward the design of 3D scaffolds with precise macroporous structures, for supported mammalian cell growth. Despite advances in 3D model designs, there is still a shortage of detection tools to precisely monitor in situ cell behavior in 3D, thereby allowing a better understanding of the progression of diseases or to test the efficacy of drugs in a more realistic microenvironment. Even if the number of available inks has exponentially increased, they do not necessarily offer the required functionalities to be used as internal sensors. Herein the potential of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy for the detection of biorelevant analytes within a plasmonic hydrogel-based, 3D-printed scaffold is demonstrated. Such SERS-active scaffolds allow for the 3D detection of model molecules, such as 4-mercaptobenzoic acid. Flexibility in the choice of plasmonic nanoparticles is demonstrated through the use of gold nanoparticles with different morphologies, gold nanorods showing the best balance between SERS enhancement and scaffold transparency. Detection of the biomarker adenosine is also demonstrated as a proof-of-concept toward the use of these plasmonic scaffolds for SERS sensing of cell-secreted molecules over extended periods of time.
AUTHOR Plou, Javier and García, Isabel and Charconnet, Mathias and Astobiza, Ianire and García-Astrain, Clara and Matricardi, Cristiano and Mihi, Agustín and Carracedo, Arkaitz and Liz-Marzán, Luis M.
Title Multiplex SERS Detection of Metabolic Alterations in Tumor Extracellular Media [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Functional Materials
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Abstract The composition and intercellular interactions of tumor cells in the tissues dictate the biochemical and metabolic properties of the tumor microenvironment. The metabolic rewiring has a profound impact on the properties of the microenvironment, to an extent that monitoring such perturbations could harbor diagnostic and therapeutic relevance. A growing interest in these phenomena has inspired the development of novel technologies with sufficient sensitivity and resolution to monitor metabolic alterations in the tumor microenvironment. In this context, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) can be used for the label-free detection and imaging of diverse molecules of interest among extracellular components. Herein, the application of nanostructured plasmonic substrates comprising Au nanoparticles, self-assembled as ordered superlattices, to the precise SERS detection of selected tumor metabolites, is presented. The potential of this technology is first demonstrated through the analysis of kynurenine, a secreted immunomodulatory derivative of the tumor metabolism and the related molecules tryptophan and purine derivatives. SERS facilitates the unambiguous identification of trace metabolites and allows the multiplex detection of their characteristic fingerprints under different conditions. Finally, the effective plasmonic SERS substrate is combined with a hydrogel-based three-dimensional cancer model, which recreates the tumor microenvironment, for the real-time imaging of metabolite alterations and cytotoxic effects on tumor cells.