Popcorn-Shaped Magnetic Core–Plasmonic Shell Multifunctional Nanoparticles for the Targeted Magnetic Separation and Enrichment, Label-Free SERS Imaging, and Photothermal Destruction of Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria



Over the last few years, one of the most important and complex problems facing our society is treating infectious diseases caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria (MDRB), by using current market-existing antibiotics. Driven by this need, we report for the first time the development of the multifunctional popcorn-shaped iron magnetic core–gold plasmonic shell nanotechnology-driven approach for targeted magnetic separation and enrichment, label-free surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) detection, and the selective photothermal destruction of MDR Salmonella DT104. Due to the presence of the “lightning-rod effect”, the core–shell popcorn-shaped gold-nanoparticle tips provided a huge field of SERS enhancement. The experimental data show that the M3038 antibody-conjugated nanoparticles can be used for targeted separation and SERS imaging of MDR Salmonella DT104. A targeted photothermal-lysis experiment, by using 670 nm light at 1.5 W cm−2 for 10 min, results in selective and irreparable cellular-damage to MDR Salmonella. We discuss the possible mechanism and operating principle for the targeted separation, label-free SERS imaging, and photothermal destruction of MDRB by using the popcorn-shaped magnetic/plasmonic nanotechnology.