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SERS ultrasensitive universal sensing of proteins through cross-reactive sensor arrays


The goal of the present project is the development of novel nanostructured cross-sensor reactive arrays (CRSA) based on SERS and the different affinity of peptides and proteins to interact with different metallorganic complexes. This sensor concept will be universal for the ultrasensitive detection and identification of metallic cations and peptides/proteins. Briefly, we shall fabricate micron-sized, composite nanomaterials as follows. Gold nanoparticles will be first deposited on silica or polymer microspheres via layer by layer self-assembly, and subsequent epitaxial growth will be carried out with silver (using novel methods recently developed in our lab) to generate discrete, highly SERS active surfaces. These composite particles will be functionalized with organic ligands with high affinity for metals (thiolated porphyrins and terpyridines). In a first step, quantitative multiplex ultrasensitive detection of metals will be aimed. In a second step, each microsphere coupled with one ligand and a given metal will be fabricated as a sensing element for the CRSA. These sensing elements will be organized into solid supports (the actual CRSA) and tested for the identification of different protein species, especially those related with pathogenic states or drug abuse, by combining SERS spectroscopy with chemometric methods (i.e. principal component analysis, hierarchical cluster analysis and partial least squares). The final product is intended to be mounted on a conventional glass slide with ability for drawing a rapid and accurate conclusion on the health condition of a patient, or environmental risk in a time scale of seconds.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/analytical chemistry/spectroscopy
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/proteins
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/theoretical physics/particles
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/metals
  • /engineering and technology/nanotechnology/nano-materials

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)


Carrer De Escorxador
43003 Tarragona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 166 336,20
Administrative Contact
Ramon A. Alvarez-Puebla (Prof.)