The development of biomolecular imprinting over the last decade has raised promising perspectives in replacing natural antibodies with artificial antibodies. A significant number of reports have been dedicated to imprinting of organic and inorganic nanostructures, but very few were performed on nanomaterials with a transduction function. Herein, a relatively fast and efficient plasmonic hot spot-localized surface imprinting of gold nanorods using reversible template immobilization and siloxane copolymerization is described. The technique enables a fine control of the imprinting process at the nanometer scale and provides a nanobiosensor with high selectivity and reusability. Proof of concept is established by the detection of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), a biomarker for acute kidney injury, using localized surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. The work represents a valuable step towards plasmonic nanobiosensors with synthetic antibodies for label-free and cost-efficient diagnostic assays. It is expected that this novel class of surface imprinted plasmonic nanomaterials will open up new possibilities in advancing biomedical applications of plasmonic nanostructures.
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