Molecular Affinity Agents for Intrinsic Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) Sensors

Victoria M. Szlag, Rebeca S. Rodriguez, Jiayi He, Natalie Hudson-Smith, Hyunho Kang, Ngoc Le, Theresa M Reineke, Christy L Haynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Research at the interface of synthetic materials, biochemistry, and analytical techniques has enabled sensing platforms for applications across many research communities. Herein we review the materials used as affinity agents to create surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) sensors. Our scope includes those affinity agents (antibody, aptamer, small molecule, and polymer) that facilitate the intrinsic detection of targets relevant to biology, medicine, national security, environmental protection, and food safety. We begin with an overview of the analytical technique (SERS) and considerations for its application as a sensor. We subsequently describe four classes of affinity agents, giving a brief overview on affinity, production, attachment chemistry, and first uses with SERS. Additionally, we review the SERS features of the affinity agents, and the analytes detected by intrinsic SERS with that affinity agent class. We conclude with remarks on affinity agent selection for intrinsic SERS sensing platforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31825-31844
Number of pages20
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number38
StatePublished - Sep 26 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported primarily by the University of Minnesota Industrial Partnership for Interfacial & Materials Engineering. N.V.H.S. acknowledges support through the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (00039202). We also thank Dr. Renee Frontiera for helpful discussion in this review.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Chemical Society.


  • affinity agent
  • antibody
  • aptamer
  • intrinsic SERS
  • polymer
  • small molecule
  • surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy


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