Advanced Biomimetic Surfaces for Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS)

Introduction Raman spectroscopy characterizes molecules by their Raman scattering. As incoming light scatters off a molecule, most does so elastically, neither gaining nor losing energy, and this is known as Rayleigh scattering. Some of this light, however, about 1 in 10 million photons, is the subject of an energy exchange with the molecule and scatters inelastically, possessing more or less energy than it started with, and this is known as Raman scattering. Raman scattering acts as a vibrational fingerprint for a molecule with no two spectrum being identical. Unfortunately, signals tend to be very weak due to the rarity of Raman scattering and are often buried in Rayleigh scatter. However, Raman scattering can be significantly enhanced by adsorbing molecules onto metal surfaces; this is known as surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). Technology Description Professor Shen at the University of Washington has developed an advanced biomimetic surface for use in surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) that greatly enhances Raman scattering and is adaptable to physiological conditions. This technology utilizes a highly tunable architecture and surface chemistry for broad applicability, and it consists of a biomimetic scaffold that is appropriate for the study of physiologically relevant molecules, such as endotoxins and viruses. Business Opportunity The ability to utilize advanced surfaces that can better facilitate surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) for the identification of molecular information in biologically relevant systems presents opportunities in a wide variety of fields. Key applications include biosensors for biodefense, food safety, environmental monitoring, and biomedical diagnostics. Stage of Development A working methodology for this technology has been developed and characterized. Intellectual Property Position The UW is currently reviewing this technology for worldwide patent protection. For more information on this technology contact:
Kelly FitzGerald, PhD Technology Manager, Invention Licensing 206-543-3970

Type of Offer: Licensing

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