Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopic sensing of glucose

Posted: 15 December 2017 | , | No comments yet

The small normal Raman cross-section of glucose is a major challenge in its detection by surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) for medical applications, such as blood glucose level monitoring of diabetic patients and evaluation of patients with other medical conditions, since glucose is a marker for many human diseases. Here we will discuss the use of commercially available multilayer graphene sheets as substrates on which gold nanoparticles are chemically assembled by reduction of sodium citrate.

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopic sensing of glucose

approximate assignments at: 919 (O-C1-H1 bend), 1,340 (C-C-H bend), 1,270, 1,164, 1,116 (C-C + C-O stretch), 860 (C-C stretch), and 1,070 (C1-OH stretch). SERS on a gold/graphene substrate of 1M glucose showing the key Raman lines is displayed in Figure 3 in agreement with the conventional Raman data in Figure 2.

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopic sensing of glucose

Figure 2: a) Conventional Raman spectrum of pristine graphene sheet, recorded with 532nm laser excitation, laser power 10mW, acquisition time 15s averaged for three scans b) Conventional Raman spectrum of crystalline glucose for comparison recorded under the same spectral conditions as in (a).

Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of pristine and gold-coated graphene sheets were obtained with a VP-1530 Carl Zeiss LEO field-emission SEM. A high magnification image of a gold-coated graphene sheet is shown in Figure 4. The figure shows that gold nanoparticles on the graphene sheet surface which appear with lighter contrast is uniform, with an average concentration of 4.6% determined by energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) analysis.

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopic sensing of glucose

Figure 4: SEM image for a multilayered graphene sheet after gold nanoparticle deposition at a magnification of 131,470x showing fine nanoscale gold particles in lighter contrast to that of the graphene substrate.

Figure 5 shows how the Raman intensities of the key Raman line of glucose at 1,340cm-1 vary with concentration down to the 10-8M concentration level of the analyte. This essentially linear variation shows that gold/graphene can be an excellent substrate for glucose detection by SERS. Another feature observed is a small shift of the glucose SERS frequencies on graphene relative to those from free glucose, suggesting the presence of an EM field between the gold particles mediated by the graphene substrate that can provide additional enhancement of the Raman signal.15,16 The results presented suggest the potential of the gold-graphene system as a flexible, highly efficient glucose sensor, particularly for medical applications.

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopic sensing of glucose

Figure 5: SERS of different concentrations of glucose in the 400 to 2,000 cm-1 spectral range on gold/graphene excited with a laser wavelength of 532nm with power of 10mW and acquisition time 15s averaged over three scans. All the peaks in the SERS spectra correspond with those of the Raman spectrum of crystalline glucose.


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Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopic sensing of glucoseLAILA AL-QARNI completed her Master’s degree in Chemistry from King Abdul Aziz University in Saudi Arabia in 2009, where she started as a Teaching Assistant in 2008 and was promoted to Lecturer in 2009. Since 2015 she has been researching and studying at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where she expects to receive her PhD in Physical Chemistry under the direction of Prof Zafar Iqbal for the use of SERS as a biosensor.

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopic sensing of glucoseZAFAR IQBAL is a Research Professor in Chemistry at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and President of CarboMet, a company founded to commercialise nanotechnologies from his laboratory. Before joining NJIT Dr Iqbal was Senior Principal Research Scientist and Project Manager at AlliedSignal. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as a Research Scientist at the US Army’s Research and Development Centre in New Jersey. Dr Iqbal has been awarded the Army’s Paul A Siple Medal, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He has published over 225 papers in peerreviewed journals and been awarded 25 US patents on topics ranging from energetics to sonar sensors.

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