Silver-Nanoparticle-Embedded Porous Silicon Disks Enabled SERS Signal Amplification for Selective Glutathione Detection

Yang Bu, Guixian Zhu, Shengliang Li, Ruogu Qi, Gauri Bhave, Dechen Zhang, Ruixuan Han, Dali Sun, Xiangfeng Liu, Zhongbo Hu, Xuewu Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


As the major redox couple and nonprotein thiol source in human tissues, the level of glutathione (GSH) has been a concern for its relation with many diseases. However, the similar physical and chemical properties of interference molecules such as cysteine (Cys) and homocysteine (Hcy) make discriminative detection of GSH in complex biological fluids challenging. Here we report a novel surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) platform, based on silver-nanoparticle-embedded porous silicon disks (PSDs/Ag) substrates for highly sensitive and selective detection of GSH in biofluids. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were reductively synthesized and aggregated directly into pores of PSDs, achieving a SERS enhancement factor (EF) up to 2.59 × 107. Ellman's reagent 5,5′-ditho-bis (2-nitrobenzoic acid) (DTNB) was selected as the Raman reactive reporting agent, and the GSH quantification was determined using enzymatic recycling method, and allowed the detection limit of GSH to be down to 74.9 nM using a portable Raman spectrometer. Moreover, the significantly overwhelmed enhancement ratio of GSH over other substances enables the discrimination of GSH detection in complex biofluids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-417
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • SERS
  • biosensor
  • glutathione
  • porous silicon
  • signal amplification
  • silver nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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