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Magnetic SERS as a new diagnostic tool

We developed novel, easy to use and cheap analytical method aimed on the analysis of chemical compounds relevant in medical diagnostics. Method is based on the Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy and advanced functionalised magnetic nanocomposites. Limits of detection were evaluated on selected chemical targets and are in units of nmol/L.

Reliable detection of multiple chemical targets, including diagnostic markers, at ultra-low concentration levels still presents a scientific challenge. Magnetic assisted surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (MA-SERS) presents a newly developed analytical technique able to perform a detection of selected molecular targets such as dopamine, immunoglobulin G, prostate specific membrane antigen or nucleic acids at ultra-low concentration levels with advantageous economical and practical benefits. Technique is based on a two-stage process covering isolation of the target molecular target(s) and consecutive detection using SERS. Both processes are accomplished using magnetic Fe3O4@Ag nanocomposite, further functionalized for an enhanced selectivity depending on the particular application.

Analytical procedures based on MA-SERS have several recognized benefits over generally applied solutions: a) total cost per analysis - ultra-high selectivity and low detection limits, no need to buy expensive instruments. b) sample volume is in orders of micro-liters and sample-treatment is not required; analysis of broader range of samples is thus possible. b) versatility - procedures can be easily tuned to gain selectivity towards various molecular targets d) portability - Raman spectroscope can be easily transferred and measurements can be thus performed in the field. e) simplicity - the workflow is very easy and simple to learn. f) time efficiency - result is known in few minutes.

Technology was successfully tested on selected molecular targets, please see the list of publications.

Ranc, V., Markova, Z., Hajduch, M., Prucek, R., Kvitek, L., Kaslik, J., Safarova K., Zboril, R. (2014). Analytical Chemistry, 86(6), 2939–46. Balzerova, A., Fargasova, A., Markova, Z., Ranc, V., Zboril, R. (2014). Analytical Chemistry, 86(22), 11107–11114. Prucek, R., Ranc, V., Kvítek, L., Panáček, A., Zbořil, R., Kolář, M. (2012). The Analyst, 137(12), 2866.

Patent pending.

Palacky University Olomouc – Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and Materials