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  1. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) has great potential as an analytical technique for environmental analyses. In this study, we fabricated highly porous gold (Au) supraparticles ( i.e. , ∼100 μm diameter agglomerates of primary nano-sized particles) and evaluated their applicability as SERS substrates for the sensitive detection of environmental contaminants. Facile supraparticle fabrication was achieved by evaporating a droplet containing an Au and polystyrene (PS) nanoparticle mixture on a superamphiphobic nanofilament substrate. Porous Au supraparticles were obtained through the removal of the PS phase by calcination at 500 °C. The porosity of the Au supraparticles was readily adjusted by varying the volumetric ratios of Au and PS nanoparticles. Six environmental contaminants (malachite green isothiocyanate, rhodamine B, benzenethiol, atrazine, adenine, and gene segment) were successfully adsorbed to the porous Au supraparticles, and their distinct SERS spectra were obtained. The observed linear dependence of the characteristic Raman peak intensity for each environmental contaminant on its aqueous concentration reveals the quantitative SERS detection capability by porous Au supraparticles. The limit of detection (LOD) for the six environmental contaminants ranged from ∼10 nM to ∼10 μM, which depends on analyte affinity to the porous Au supraparticles and analyte intrinsic Raman cross-sections. The porous Au supraparticlesmore »enabled multiplex SERS detection and maintained comparable SERS detection sensitivity in wastewater influent. Overall, we envision that the Au supraparticles can potentially serve as practical and sensitive SERS devices for environmental analysis applications.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 15, 2023
  2. Many outbreaks of emerging disease ( e.g. , avian influenza, SARS, MERS, Ebola, COVID-19) are caused by viruses. In addition to direct person-to-person transfer, the movement of these viruses through environmental matrices (water, air, and food) can further disease transmission. There is a pressing need for rapid and sensitive virus detection in environmental matrices. Nanomaterial-based sensors (nanosensors), which take advantage of the unique optical, electrical, or magnetic properties of nanomaterials, exhibit significant potential for environmental virus detection. Interactions between viruses and nanomaterials (or recognition agents on the nanomaterials) can induce detectable signals and provide rapid response times, high sensitivity, and high specificity. Facile and field-deployable operations can be envisioned due to the small size of the sensing elements. In this frontier review, we summarize virus transmission via environmental pathways and then comprehensively discuss recent applications of nanosensors to detect various viruses. This review provides guidelines for virus detection in the environment through the use of nanosensors as a tool to decrease environmental transmission of current and emerging diseases.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2023
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