Spaser as a biological probe

Authors: Ekaterina I. GalanzhaRobert WeingoldDmitry A. NedosekinMustafa SarimollaogluJacqueline NolanWalter HarringtonAlexander S. KuchyanovRoman G. ParkhomenkoFumiya WatanabeZeid NimaAlexandru S. BirisAlexander I. PlekhanovMark I. Stockman, & Vladimir P. Zharov

Publication: Nature Communications, volume 8, Article number: 15528 (2017)


Understanding cell biology greatly benefits from the development of advanced diagnostic probes. Here we introduce a 22-nm spaser (plasmonic nanolaser) with the ability to serve as a super-bright, water-soluble, biocompatible probe capable of generating stimulated emission directly inside living cells and animal tissues. We have demonstrated a lasing regime associated with the formation of a dynamic vapour nanobubble around the spaser that leads to giant spasing with emission intensity and spectral width >100 times brighter and 30-fold narrower, respectively, than for quantum dots. The absorption losses in the spaser enhance its multifunctionality, allowing for nanobubble-amplified photothermal and photoacoustic imaging and therapy. Furthermore, the silica spaser surface has been covalently functionalized with folic acid for molecular targeting of cancer cells. All these properties make a nanobubble spaser a promising multimodal, super-contrast, ultrafast cellular probe with a single-pulse nanosecond excitation for a variety of in vitro and in vivo biomedical applications.

Posted in: Biris, Nima, Publications, Watanabe

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