Nanotheranostics 2022; 6(1):10-30. doi:10.7150/ntno.61244

Review

Design and synthesis of gold nanostars-based SERS nanotags for bioimaging applications

Bohdan Andreiuk1,2✉, Fay Nicolson1,3, Louise M. Clark1,2, Sajanlal R. Panikkanvalappil1, Kenry1,4, Mohammad Rashidian2, Stefan Harmsen5✉, Moritz F. Kircher1,6,†

1. Department of Imaging, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
2. Department of Cancer Immunology and Virology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
3. Department of Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
4. Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
5. Department of Radiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
6. Department of Radiology, Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 022115, USA.
Deceased August 15, 2020

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Citation:
Andreiuk B, Nicolson F, Clark LM, Panikkanvalappil SR, Kenry , Rashidian M, Harmsen S, Kircher MF. Design and synthesis of gold nanostars-based SERS nanotags for bioimaging applications. Nanotheranostics 2022; 6(1):10-30. doi:10.7150/ntno.61244. Available from https://www.ntno.org/v06p0010.htm

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Abstract

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) nanotags hold a unique place among bioimaging contrast agents due to their fingerprint-like spectra, which provide one of the highest degrees of detection specificity. However, in order to achieve a sufficiently high signal intensity, targeting capabilities, and biocompatibility, all components of nanotags must be rationally designed and tailored to a specific application. Design parameters include fine-tuning the properties of the plasmonic core as well as optimizing the choice of Raman reporter molecule, surface coating, and targeting moieties for the intended application. This review introduces readers to the principles of SERS nanotag design and discusses both established and emerging protocols of their synthesis, with a specific focus on the construction of SERS nanotags in the context of bioimaging and theranostics.

Keywords: Surface-enhanced Raman scattering, gold nanostar synthesis, near-infrared dye, cancer imaging