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Diagnostics and Molecular Detection

Silver nanoparticles efficiently scatter 532 nm laser light and are often used in molecular detection applications.NanoComposix has leveraged the unique properties of nanoparticles to develop highly sensitive diagnostic and molecular detection technologies. In addition to conjugating antibodies, peptides, Fab fragments, and oligonucleotides to nanoparticles for use in ELISA and lateral flow assays, a class of gold nanoparticle (GNPs) materials have been developed for determining the molecular identity of biomolecules using MALDI mass spectrometry. These GNP matrices have a number of advantages over the commonly used organic acid matrices including reduced interference with matrix fragments, a 1000 fold decrease in the required amount of matrix, and the promotion of the desorption and ionization of small molecule compounds that are not typically detected using traditional organic matrices. The lack of interfering matrix fragments from GNPs makes them well suited for the analysis of biomolecules such as lipids, sugars, and pharmaceuticals.

NanoComposix has also developed ultrabright surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) substrates for quantitative and highly sensitive molecular detection. By enhancing the intrinsic Raman scattering signal by up to 16 orders of magnitude, molecules can be rapidly detected at extremely low concentrations by their Raman spectral fingerprint.

For more information, please contact us or read more about our diagnostic and molecular detection technologies below.

NanoComposix Diagnostic Nanoparticle Products

Custom Conjugations

Conjugation Service: nanoComposix provides custom conjugation of antibodies, or other biomolecules to our gold and silver nanomaterials. Custom conjugated materials are available in quantities ranging from 1 milliliter to hundreds of milliliters. Contact us to learn more about our custom conjugation services.

Activated Nanoparticles

For customers who prefer to perform conjugations themselves, we offer a variety of reactive surfaces on our silver and gold nanomaterials. Contact us to learn more about our activated nanoparticle formulations.

Lateral Flow Assays

Lateral flow assays (also known as lateral flow tests) are simple diagnostic tests designed to detect the presence or absence of a target analyte in a sample. The common test format involves mixing a sample with a colored reagent (such as plasmonic silver or gold nanoparticles). Subsequently, capillary action causes the mixture to flow over a solid substrate which has sections that have been pretreated with an antibody or antigen. If analytes are present in the sample, the colored nanoparticles will bind to these sections. The extremely large absorption and scattering cross sections of silver and gold nanoparticles, combined with the ability to easily bind recognition molecules to their surfaces creates a readily observed colorimetric readout that is often visible to the naked eye. Lateral flow assay tests are often produced in a dipstick format for home or point-of-care (POC) testing.

Other Assays

Other commonly used assays include ELISAs (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays), dot blot assays, and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) assays. NanoComposix nanomaterials, including brightly colored plasmonic silver and gold nanoparticles and surface-enhanced Raman scattering tags can be conjugated to primary or seconday antibodies for use in these assays.


  1. M.T. Spencer, H. Furutani, S.J. Oldenburg, T.K. Darlington, K.A. Prather. Gold Nanoparticles as a Matrix for Visible-Wavelength Single-Particle Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry of Small Biomolecules The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2008 112 (11), 4083-4090
  2. D.S. Sebba, D.A. Watson, J.P. Nolan. High Throughput Single Nanoparticle Spectroscopy. ACS Nano, 2009, 3 (6) 1477-1484.