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Keywords:

  • amplification;
  • nanoparticles;
  • self-assembly;
  • sensors
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Seeing is believing: Nanoparticle crystals and core–shell crystals detect and amplify the presence of chemical and enzymatic analytes. These crystals are made insoluble in water by cross-linking their surface with dithiols incorporating analyte-specific groups. Upon addition of an analyte, these groups are cut, and the “punctured” crystals liberate millions of individual, brightly colored NPs (see picture).