Polarization microscopy with stellated gold nanoparticles for robust, in-situ monitoring of biomolecules

Jesse Aaron, Elder De La Rosa, Kort Travis, Nathan Harrison, Justin Burt, Miguel José-Yacamán, Konstantin Sokolov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Advances in plasmonic nanoparticle synthesis afford new opportunities for biosensing applications. Here, we apply a combination of a new type of plasmonic nanomaterial - stellated nanoparticles, and polarization-sensitive darkfield microscopy for detecting molecular assemblies and tracking of individual epidermal growth factor receptors within single live cells with high signal-to-background ratio. Depolarization of linear polarized light by stellated nanoparticles is over 15-fold more efficient than similarly-sized spheroidal nanoparticles. This efficient light depolarization allows robust detection of molecules labeled with stellated nanoparticles in cross-polarized imaging where the intrinsic light scattering from cells is significantly reduced. The imaging can be carried out with single molecule sensitivity for essentially unlimited time with no signal degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2153-2167
Number of pages15
JournalOptics Express
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 4 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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