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Keywords:

  • cellular sensing;
  • molecular recognition;
  • nanoplasmonic probes;
  • optical antennas;
  • surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Nanocorals demonstrate independent cell-targeting and label-free biomolecular sensing capabilities. The highly roughened gold region of the nanocoral increases the adsorption capacity and causes a strong surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) signal. The polystyrene region can adsorb antibodies, allowing the nanocoral to specifically bind to receptors on the cancer cell membrane making nanocorals multifunctional nanosensors for cellular diagnostics and treatment evaluation.