Plasmonic nanostructures for biomedical and sensing applications

by Jenkins, Samir V.; Muldoon, Timothy J.; Chen, Jingyi

Noble metal nanostructures are appealing for therapeutic, diagnostics, and sensing applications because of their unique optical properties and biocompatibility. The collective oscillation of electrons in a metal nanostructure resonates with particular wavelengths of light, generating the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR). The LSPR results in absorption and scattering of incoming photons. Absorption leads to photothermal generation of heat, photoluminescence, and quenching of fluorophores in close proximity. Scattering results in reflected photons and its amplification of the local electromagnetic field can enhance fluorescence, phosphorescence, and Raman scattering. These optical properties make plasmonic nanostructures ideal candidates for theranostic applications including light-induced thermal therapy, drug/gene delivery, and biomedical imaging. The use of plasmonic nanostructures for ex vivo detection of chemicals and biomolecules are also discussed in this chapter.