Nanogap antennas to measure peptide ligands
The cyclic RGD (cRGD) peptide ligands of cells have become widely used for treating several cancers. In this collaborations with Japanese colleagues, we made a highly sensitive analysis of c(RGDfC) using surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) using single dimer nanogap antennas in aqueous environment. Good agreement between characteristic peaks of the SERS and the Raman spectra of bulk c(RGDfC) with its peptide's constituents were observed. The exhibited blinking of the SERS spectra and synchronization of intensity fluctuations, suggest that the SERS spectra acquired from single dimer nanogap antennas was dominated by the spectrum of single to a few molecules. SERS spectra of c(RGDfC) could be used to detect at the nanoscale, the cells' transmembrane proteins binding to its ligand.