The COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected the economy and health security on a global scale, causing a drastic change on lifestyle, calling a need to mitigate further transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has shown great potential in the sensitive and rapid detection of various molecules including viruses, through the identification of characteristic peaks of their outer membrane proteins. Accurate detection can be developed through the synergistic integration effect among SERS-active substrate, the appropriate laser wavelength, and the target analyte. In this study, gold nanocavities (Au NC) and Au nanoparticles upon ZrO2 nano-bowls (Au NPs/pZrO2) were tested and used as SERS-active substrates in detecting SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus containing S protein as a surface capsid glycoprotein (SARS-CoV-2 S pseudovirus) and vesicular stomatitis virus G (VSV-G) pseudo-type lentivirus (VSV-G pseudovirus) to demonstrate their virus detection capability. The optimized Au NCs and Au NPs/pZrO2 substrates were then verified by examining the repetition of measurement, reproducibility, and detection limit. Due to the difference in geometry and composition of the substrates, the characteristic peak-positions of live SARS-CoV-2 S and VSV-G pseudoviruses in the obtained Raman spectra vary, which were also compared with those of inactivated ones. Based on the experimental results, SERS mechanism of each substrate to detect virus is proposed. The formation of hot spots brought by the synergistic integration effect among substrate, analyte, and laser induction may result differences in the obtained SERS spectra.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Environmental Chemistry