Infoscience

Journal article

In-situ ultra-sensitive infrared absorption spectroscopy of biomolecule interactions in real time with plasmonic nanoantennas

Infrared absorption spectroscopy is a powerful biochemical analysis tool as it extracts detailed molecular structural information in a label-free fashion. Its molecular specificity renders the technique sensitive to the subtle conformational changes exhibited by proteins in response to a variety of stimuli. Yet, sensitivity limitations and the extremely strong absorption bands of liquid water severely limit infrared spectroscopy in performing kinetic measurements in biomolecules' native, aqueous environments. Here we demonstrate a plasmonic chip-based technology that overcomes these challenges, enabling the in-situ monitoring of protein and nanoparticle interactions at high sensitivity in real time, even allowing the observation of minute volumes of water displacement during binding events. Our approach leverages the plasmonic enhancement of absorption bands in conjunction with a non-classical form of internal reflection. These features not only expand the reach of infrared spectroscopy to a new class of biological interactions but also additionally enable a unique chip-based technology.

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