In vivo molecular probing of cellular compartments with gold nanoparticles and nanoaggregates

Nano Lett. 2006 Oct;6(10):2225-31. doi: 10.1021/nl061517x.


Surface-enhanced Raman (SERS) signatures were measured from single living cells at different times after the uptake of gold nanoparticles. The spectra are indicative of chemical changes in the environment of the nanostructures over time. The increase of the SERS signal strength and parallel TEM studies indicate the formation of nanoaggregates providing optimum SERS enhancement for ultrasensitive probing inside the endosomal compartment. The results have implications for medical and biotechnology applications of SERS nanosensors in cells.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Endocytosis / physiology*
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Macrophages / cytology*
  • Macrophages / physiology*
  • Materials Testing
  • Mice
  • Molecular Probe Techniques*
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Nanostructures / ultrastructure
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman / methods*


  • Gold