Platinum-Decorated Gold Nanoparticles with Dual Functionalities for Ultrasensitive Colorimetric in Vitro Diagnostics

Document Type


Publication Date



© 2017 American Chemical Society. Au nanoparticles (AuNPs) as signal reporters have been utilized in colorimetric in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) for decades. Nevertheless, it remains a grand challenge to substantially enhance the detection sensitivity of AuNP-based IVDs as confined by the inherent plasmonics of AuNPs. In this work, we circumvent this confinement by developing unique dual-functional AuNPs that were engineered by coating conventional AuNPs with ultrathin Pt skins of sub-10 atomic layers (i.e., Au@Pt NPs). The Au@Pt NPs retain the plasmonic activity of initial AuNPs while possessing ultrahigh catalytic activity enabled by Pt skins. Such dual functionalities, plasmonics and catalysis, offer two different detection alternatives: one produced just by the color from plasmonics (low-sensitivity mode) and the second more sensitive color catalyzed from chromogenic substrates (high-sensitivity mode), achieving an "on-demand" tuning of the detection performance. Using lateral flow assay as a model IVD platform and conventional AuNPs as a benchmark, we demonstrate that the Au@Pt NPs could enhance detection sensitivity by 2 orders of magnitude.

Publication Title

Nano Letters