Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy of Biomolecules Encapsulated in Liposomes


Idan Manelbaum and Angela R. Hight Walker

Optical Technology Division, Physics Laboratory


With the ultimate goal of quantitative Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) of biomolecules, we have coupled a microfluidic “lab-on-a chip” device, manufactured by NIST scientists, to our Raman microscope.  Inside the device, we are developing the techniques to control liposome formation such that a known number of both gold nanoparticles as well as biomolecules can be encapsulated during vesicle formation. This engineered environment will allow the elucidation of structural details through vibrational spectroscopy.  To this end, we are using bench-top formed liposomes to study encapsulation and separation of the nanoparticle vesicle system.  Due to the inherently low Raman cross-section, SERS has been used to identify the liposomes and has shown sensitivity to composition.  Through ongoing imaging studies, particle location in relation to the liposomes will be determined. The experimental results are complemented by a computational effort carried out on an in-house supercomputer.



Idan Mandelbaum

Optical Technology Division (844.06)
Laser Applications
Building 216, Room 225B

100 Bureau Drive,  MS8443
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8443
T: (301) 975-8241
F: (301) 975-6991

Associate Member of Sigma Xi


Mentor: Angela R. Hight Walker