Raman detection of localized transferrin-coated gold nanoparticles inside a single cell

Jin Ho Park, Jen Park, Uuriintuya Dembereldorj, Keunchang Cho, Kangtaek Lee, Sung Ik Yang, So Yeong Lee, Sang Woo Joo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the cellular uptake behavior of non-fluorescent metal nanoparticles (NPs) by use of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) combined with dark-field microscopy (DFM). The uptake of Au NPs inside a single cell could also be identified by DFM first and then confirmed by z-depth-dependent SERS at micrometer resolution. Guided by DFM for the location of Au NPs, an intracellular distribution assay was possible using Raman dyes with unique vibrational marker bands in order to identify the three-dimensional location inside the single cell by obtaining specific spectral features. Au NPs modified by 4-mercaptobenzoic acid (MBA) bearing its -COOH surface functional group were used to conjugate transferrin (Tf) protein using the 1-ethyl-3-[3- dimethylaminopropyl]carbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) reaction. The protein conjugation reaction on Au surfaces was examined by means of color change, absorption spectroscopy, and SERS. Our results demonstrate that DFM techniques combined with SERS may have great potential for monitoring biological processes with protein conjugation at the single-cell level. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1635-1643
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Sep 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry

Cite this

Park, J. H., Park, J., Dembereldorj, U., Cho, K., Lee, K., Yang, S. I., Lee, S. Y., & Joo, S. W. (2011). Raman detection of localized transferrin-coated gold nanoparticles inside a single cell. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 401(5), 1635-1643. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-011-5215-9