Core−Shell Nanoplasmonic Sensing for Characterization of Biocorona Formation and Nanoparticle Surface Interactions
Journal article, 2016

Surface properties of nanoparticles imposed by particle size, shape, and surface chemistry are key features that largely determine their environmental fate and effects on biological systems. Consequently, development of analytical tools to characterize surface properties of nanomaterials and their relation to toxicological properties must occur in parallel with applications. As a contribution to this quest, we present a nanoplasmonic sensing strategy that enables systematic in situ characterization of molecule−nanoparticle interactions under well-controlled conditions, in terms of both nanoparticle size and surface chemistry, with particular focus on the importance of surface faceting in crystalline nanoparticles. We assess the performance of our sensing strategy by presenting two case studies. (i) The first is protein corona formation on faceted Au core−SiO2 shell nanoparticles of different sizes, and thus different surface facet-to-edge ratios. Based on 2D and 3D models of the investigated structures, we find that for small particles the curved regions between adjacent facets dominate the response of the corona formation process, whereas the facets dominate the response in the large particle regime. (ii) The second is in situ functionalization of Au core−SiO2 shell nanoparticle surfaces, and analysis of the subsequent protein repellent behavior. Due to the versatility of the presented sensing strategy in studies of nanoparticle surface properties, including in situ surface modifications, and their interactions with (bio)molecules during corona formation, we foresee it to become a valuable tool in the areas of nanomedicine and nanotoxicology.

core−shell sensing



protein adsorption

indirect nanoplasmonic sensing




Rickard Frost

Chalmers, Physics, Chemical Physics

Carl Wadell

Chalmers, Physics, Chemical Physics

Anders Hellman

Chalmers, Physics, Chemical Physics

Sverker Molander

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Environmental Systems Analysis

Sofia Svedhem

Chalmers, Physics, Biological Physics

Michael Persson

Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry

Christoph Langhammer

Chalmers, Physics, Chemical Physics

ACS Sensors

23793694 (eISSN)

Vol. 1 6 798-806

Areas of Advance

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Subject Categories

Physical Chemistry

Nano Technology

Condensed Matter Physics


Chalmers Materials Analysis Laboratory

Nanofabrication Laboratory



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1/3/2024 9