Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy of unilamellar liposomes loaded with silver nanoparticles
Imaging organic molecules using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has drawn attention due to its non-invasive nature and label-free approach. The SERS approach can be used in tracking organic molecules and monitoring unique Raman spectra of the organic molecules bound to metal nanoparticles (NPs). We prepared unilamellar liposomes composed of 1,2-dipalmitoylsn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) molecules with a diameter of around 100 nm. Electrostatic binding of silver (Ag) NPs on the surface of the unilamellar liposomes was achieved by the reduction of silver nitrate (AgNO3) which produces SERS active silver colloidal particles on the unilamellar liposome surfaces. Highly enhanced electromagnetic fields localized around neighbouring Ag NPs provide hot-spot construction around the liposomes, due to the spatial distribution of SERS enhancement in the unilamellar liposomes. It was observed that the signals fluctuate on a second time scale, presumably due to conformational change of DPPC chain and local Brownian motion of liposomal spheres.