Authors: M. Culha, M. Kahraman, M.M. Yazici and F. Sahin
Affilation: Yeditepe University, Turkey
Pages: 538 - 541
Keywords: SERS, nanoparticles, bacteria, spectroscopy
Understanding fundamental principles of living systems in their natural environment is always a challenge for scientists. The desire to design and construct novel diagnostic tools makes this understanding a significant prerequisite. Due to its “fingerprinting” property, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) can give significant amount of molecular information about molecular structures in the close vicinity of gold or silver nanoparticles or surfaces in a short time. The requirement that the noble metal nanoparticles must be close to the molecular structure for signal enhancement in SERS can serve as a sensing tool. This study aims to utilize the gold and silver nanoparticles in a controlled manner to obtain molecular level information from microorganisms as organized biological structures. Influencing the experimental parameters such as pH and colloidal solution concentration, the degree of the interactions between nanoparticles and bacterial cells can be influenced, and thus the obtained SERS spectra. Because the information gained from these experiments mostly comes from the bacterial cell surface, it may help to understand their pathogenesis and relationship with environment, and to develop novel diagnostic tools for fast identification of microorganisms. A novel sample preparation method is also developed using nanoparticles to fully monitor the dynamic changes of the cell wall structure during the microorganism’s life cycle.