Reversible Aptamer-Au Plasmon Rulers for Secreted Single Molecules

Somin Eunice Lee, Qian Chen, Ramray Bhat, Shayne Petkiewicz, Jessica M. Smith, Vivian E. Ferry, Ana Luisa Correia, A. Paul Alivisatos, Mina J. Bissell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Plasmon rulers, consisting of pairs of gold nanoparticles, allow single-molecule analysis without photobleaching or blinking; however, current plasmon rulers are irreversible, restricting detection to only single events. Here, we present a reversible plasmon ruler, comprised of coupled gold nanoparticles linked by a single aptamer, capable of binding individual secreted molecules with high specificity. We show that the binding of target secreted molecules to the reversible plasmon ruler is characterized by single-molecule sensitivity, high specificity, and reversibility. Such reversible plasmon rulers should enable dynamic and adaptive live-cell measurement of secreted single molecules in their local microenvironment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4564-4570
Number of pages7
JournalNano letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 8 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.


  • gold nanoparticle
  • imaging
  • plasmon
  • secreted molecule
  • single-molecule


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