SERS-active Au/SiO2 clouds in powder for rapid ex vivo breast adenocarcinoma diagnosis

Elisa Cepeda-Pérez, Tzarara López-Luke, Pedro Salas, Germán Plascencia-Villa, Arturo Ponce, Juan Vivero-Escoto, Miguel José-Yacamán, Elder de La Rosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In the present work, we report a dry-based application technique of Au/SiO2 clouds in powder for rapid ex vivo adenocarcinoma diagnosis through surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS); using low laser power and an integration time of one second. Several characteristic Raman peaks frequently used for the diagnosis of breast adenocarcinoma in the range of the amide III are successfully enhanced by breading the tissue with Au/SiO2 powder. The SERS activity of these Au/SiO2 powders is attributed to their rapid rehydration upon contact with the wet tissues, which promotes the formation of gold nanoparticle aggregates. The propensity of the Au/SiO2 cloud structures to adsorb biomolecules in the vicinity of the gold nanoparticle clusters promotes the necessary conditions for SERS detection. In addition, electron microscopy, together with elemental analysis, have been used to confirm the structure of the new Au/SiO2 cloud material and to investigate its distribution in breast tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2407-2418
Number of pages12
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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