Analysis of photothermal release of Oligonucleotides from hollow Gold nanospheres by surface enhanced raman scattering (SERS)

David G. Mackanic, Samuel Mabbott, Karen Faulds, Duncan Graham

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The photothermal release of single stranded DNA (ssDNA) from the surface of gold nanoparticles of different shapes and sizes is a promising mode of delivering DNA for gene-therapy applications. Here, we demonstrate the first targeted photothermal release of ssDNA from hollow gold nanospheres (HGNs) and analyse the release of the ssDNA using quantitative surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). The HGNs used demonstrate a tunable localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) frequency while maintaining size consistency, allowing for selective ssDNA release based on matching the excitation frequency to the plasmon resonance. It is shown that HGNs with resonances at 760 and HGN 670 nm release significant amounts of ssDNA when excited via 785 nm and 640 nm lasers respectively. When excited with a wavelength far from the LSPR of the particles, the ssDNA release is negligible. This is the first demonstration of SERS to analyze the amount of ssDNA photothermally released from the surface of HGNs. In contrast to traditional fluorescence measurements, this SERS based approach provides quantitatively robust data for analysis of ssDNA release and lays a strong foundation for future studies exploiting plasmonically induced ssDNA release.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Early online date4 Apr 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Apr 2016


  • Oligonucleotides
  • gold nanoparticles
  • surface enhanced raman scattering (SERS)

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