Characterization of Bacteria Using Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS): Influence of Microbiological Factors on the SERS Spectra
A rapid, highly reproducible method for identifying bacteria has been developed.
Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a promising method for swift bacteria identification, with potential applications in healthcare. However, its real-world applicability has been limited by the lack of a standardized protocol for bacterial analysis, which has resulted in different labs obtaining very different SERS spectra for the same species.
Now, four researchers at Queen’s University Belfast in the UK have shown that treating a bacterial sample with a citrate-reduced silver colloid, then drying, causes bacteria to rupture. They release their contents prior to SERS analysis, producing highly reproducible results.
Using the protocol, the researchers found that the SERS fingerprint of a particular bacterial species can vary significantly from day to day, during different phases of bacterial growth. This is a challenge that will need to be overcome before SERS can be used to identify pathogens in patient samples, the researchers say.
- Analytical Chemistry 94, 9327–9335 (2022). doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.2c00817
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