Nanogap-Rich Au Nanowire SERS Sensor for Ultrasensitive Telomerase Activity Detection: Application to Gastric and Breast Cancer Tissues Diagnosis

Gayoung Eom, Hongki Kim, Ahreum Hwang, Hye Young Son, Yuna Choi, Jeong Moon, Donghyeong Kim, Miyeon Lee, Eun Kyung Lim, Jinyoung Jeong, Yong Min Huh, Min Kyo Seo, Taejoon Kang, Bongsoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


Telomerase has attracted much attention as a universal cancer biomarker because telomerase is overexpressed in more than 85% of human cancer cells while suppressed in normal somatic cells. Since a strong association exists between telomerase activity and human cancers, the development of effective telomerase activity assay is critically important. Here, a nanogap-rich Au nanowire (NW) surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) sensor is reported for detection of telomerase activity in various cancer cells and tissues. The nanogap-rich Au NWs are constructed by deposition of nanoparticles on single-crystalline Au NWs and provided highly reproducible SERS spectra. The telomeric substrate (TS) primer-attached nanogap-rich Au NWs can detect telomerase activity through SERS measurement after the elongation of TS primers, folding into G-quadruplex structures, and intercalation of methylene blue. This sensor enables us to detect telomerase activity from various cancer cell lines with a detection limit of 0.2 cancer cells mL−1. Importantly, the nanogap-rich Au NW sensor can diagnose gastric and breast cancer tissues accurately. The nanogap-rich Au NW sensors show strong SERS signals only in the presence of tumor tissues excised from 16 tumor-bearing mice, while negligible signals in the presence of heated tumor tissues or normal tissues. It is anticipated that nanogap-rich Au NW SERS sensors can be used for a universal cancer diagnosis and further biomedical applications including a diverse biomarker sensing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1701832
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 5

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biomaterials


Dive into the research topics of 'Nanogap-Rich Au Nanowire SERS Sensor for Ultrasensitive Telomerase Activity Detection: Application to Gastric and Breast Cancer Tissues Diagnosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this