The discovery of different binding receptors to allow rapid and high-sensitivity detection via a noninvasive urine test has become the goal for urothelial carcinoma (UC) diagnosis and surveillance. In this study, we developed a new screening membrane receptor platform for bladder cancer cells by integrating surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) with 4-aminothiophenol (4-ATP)-modified AuAg nanohollows upon NIR laser excitation. AuAg nanohollows have an absorption band at ∼630 nm, and slightly off-resonance 785 nm laser excitation is used for minimal photothermal effect. Using the same carbodiimide cross-linker chemistry to conjugate anti-EGFR, transferrin (TF), 4-carboxyphenylboronic acid (CPBA), folic acid (FA), and hyaluronic acid (HA) molecules, by screening the 4-ATP SERS signals intensity, we demonstrated that the targeting efficiency with the cost-effective CPBA molecule is comparable with the conjugation of anti-EGFR antibody to aggressive T24 cancer cells (high-grade), while weak intensity 4-ATP SERS responses to targets were obtained by grade-I RT4 bladder cancer cells, NIH/3T3 fibroblast cells, and SV-HUC1 bladder normal cells. This SERS nanoprobe platform makes primary bladder carcinoma screening from in vitro to ex vivo more straightforward. Our demonstration offers exciting potential for SERS screening of specific receptors on cancer cells of different grades and facilitates new opportunities ranging from surface engineering of SERS material tags to SERS imaging-guided and targeted phototherapy of cancer cells by controlling the laser powers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry