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Former seminars


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11.00 am, Seminar Room on the 1st Floor

Gold Nanostars: Synthesis, Stabilization and Applications as Surface-enhanced Raman Scattering Tags

Ana Belén Serrano

Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanotags are appealing contrast agents that offer important advantages over classical (bio)labeling methods. They present high photostability, sensitivity and superior multiplexed capacity due to the small line width of vibrational Raman bands.

more information in PDF format (126.1 Kb)


12.00 pm, Seminar Room on the 1st Floor

Rational Synthesis and Self-Assembly of Anisotropic Plasmonic Nanoparticles

Leonardo Scarabelli

This thesis presents significant advancement in both synthesis and self-assembly of different anisotropic plasmonic nanoparticles. The final goal is the development of novel nanostructured plasmonic materials based on crystalline assemblies of anisotropic nanoparticles, to be used as optical enhancers for the surface enhanced Raman scattering detection of bacterial Quorum Sensing signaling molecules.

more information in PDF format (125.5 Kb)


12.00 pm, Seminar Room on the 1st Floor

Self-assembling Cyclic Peptide Nanotubes: Modulation of Internal and External Properties

Prof. Juan R. Granja (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela)

In the last few year our group has been working on the design of self-assembling peptides to obtain new functional material. Specially we were interested in the preparation of nano tubular structure and for that purpose we have prepared cyclic peptides that allow the modulation of both external and internal properties. This control allowed us to design cyclic peptides that interact with biological membranes and transport across the membrane different hydrophilic components. In this talk, the new research achievements in this topic will be presented.

more information in PDF format (111.5 Kb)


11.00 am, Seminar Room on the 1st Floor

Engineering the Morphology and Organization of Gold Nanostructures for SERS Detection

Andrea Laporta

Since its discovery, Surface-enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) has become one of the most powerful and intensively studied spectroscopic analytical techniques. The electric near-field enhancement created by illumination of metallic nanostructures provides SERS with the ability to overcome the main drawback of standard Raman scattering spectroscopy, namely its low sensitivity. Many efforts are therefore currently devoted toward the fabrication of high-performance, homogeneous and reproducible SERS substrates by means of the most advanced methods, both top-down and bottom-up. Metallic nanoparticles represent an attractive route to the design of SERS supports with suitable properties. In this work, different approaches in the fabrication of SERS substrates have been studied. Among all the available metals and related alloys, gold and silver are the principal materials of choice because of their special interaction with light. Applications of SERS spectroscopy are foreseen in a wide variety of fields like medicine, biology, forensic science, archaeology, pharmacy and others.


12.00 pm, Seminar Room on the 1st Floor

Biosensing using metal nanoparticles

Marc Coronado

Metal nanoparticles display fascinating nanoplasmonic features that are essential for the development of new plasmonic biosensors. In this sense, suitable nanostructures with improved plasmonic properties were successfully obtained and implemented for the biodetection of relevant molecules for biology and human health. In a first batch of experiments we have developed highly sensitive, selective and inexpensive colorimetric biosensors for biological molecules (such as glucose and nerve gases) by combining enzymes and gold nanorods. The introduction of biocatalytic molecular species significantly improved the efficiency and biocompatibility of the system, thus opening new possibilities in biosensing using metal nanoparticles (NP). In a second set of experiments, The SERS performance of highly monodisperse gold nanotriangles was explored and the combination of this nanostructure with mesoporous silica gated NP allowed us to detect pathogenic DNA (Mycobacterium spp.) and cocaine. Altogether, the NP synthetic methods developed in this work along with the use of biological catalysts and mesoporous silica NP allowed us to easily detect different biomolecules without complicated and expensive instrumentation. Indeed, some sensors can be even read out by the naked eye.


12.00 pm, Seminar Room on the 1st Floor

Plasmonic Supraparticles for Biosensing and Nanomedicine

Dr. Roberto de la Rica (University of Strathclyde, UK)

In this talk I will show several approaches aiming at assembling gold supraparticles with improved plasmonic properties. For example I will explain a bio-inspired method for assembling citrate-stabilized gold nanoparticles into superstructures containing crystallographically aligned nano-building blocks. I will also show that anisotropic Au superstructures with tunable LSPR can be assembled on highly magnetic nanoparticle cores. The resulting magnetic and plasmonic nanoparticles can be used to manipulate cells, detect analytes with SERS spectroscopy, and generate heat in photothermal therapy.