Label-Free Detection of Virus-like Particles with Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy through Analyte Localization and Polymer-Enabled Capture

Cassandra L. Wouters, Mahmoud Matar Abed, Timmy B. Nguyen, Clarice E. Froehlich, Punarbasu Roy, Theresa M. Reineke, Christy L. Haynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Virus detection is highly important; the last several years, since the onset of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, have highlighted a weakness in the field: the need for highly specialized and complex methodology for sensitive virus detection, which also manifests as sacrifices in limits of detection made to achieve simple and rapid sensing. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has the potential to fill this gap, and two novel approaches to the development of a detection scheme are presented in this study. First, the physical entrapment of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and additional virus-like particles through substrate design to localize virus analytes into SERS hotspots is explored. Then, the use of nonspecific linear polymers as affinity agents to facilitate polymer-enabled capture of the VSV for SERS detection is studied. Quantitative detection of the VSV is achieved down to 101 genetic copies per milliliter with an R2 of 0.987 using the optimized physical entrapment method. Physical entrapment of two more virus-like particles is demonstrated with electron microscopy, and distinctive SERS fingerprints are shown. This study shows great promise for the further exploration of label-free virus detection methods involving thoughtful substrate design and unconventional affinity agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

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© 2024 American Chemical Society

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