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31 August 2015 Surface enhanced Raman scattering for detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa quorum sensing compounds
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Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA), a biofilm forming bacterium, commonly affects cystic fibrosis, burn victims, and immunocompromised patients. PA produces pyocyanin, an aromatic, redox active, secondary metabolite as part of its quorum sensing signaling system activated during biofilm formation. Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) sensors composed of Au nanospheres chemically assembled into clusters on diblock copolymer templates were fabricated and the ability to detect pyocyanin to monitor biofilm formation was investigated. Electromagnetic full wave simulations of clusters observed in scanning electron microcopy images show that the localized surface plasmon resonance wavelength is 696 nm for a dimer with a gap spacing of 1 nm in an average dielectric environment of the polymer and analyte; the local electric field enhancement is on the order of 400 at resonance, relative to free space. SERS data acquired at 785 nm excitation from a monolayer of benzenethiol on fabricated samples was compared with Raman data of pure benzenethiol and enhancement factors as large as 8×109 were calculated that are consistent with simulated field enhancements. Using this system, the limit of detection of pyocyanin in pure gradients was determined to be 10 parts per billion. In SERS data of the supernatant from the time dependent growth of PA shaking cultures, pyocyanin vibrational modes were clearly observable during the logarithmic growth phase corresponding to activation of genes related to biofilm formation. These results pave the way for the use of SERS sensors for the early detection of biofilm formation, leading to reduced healthcare costs and better patient outcomes.
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Will Thrift, Arunima Bhattacharjee, Mahsa Darvishzadeh-Varcheie, Ying Lu, Allon Hochbaum, Filippo Capolino, Katrine Whiteson, and Regina Ragan "Surface enhanced Raman scattering for detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa quorum sensing compounds", Proc. SPIE 9550, Biosensing and Nanomedicine VIII, 95500B (31 August 2015);

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