European FP7 project

SMD –Single Molecule Detection

SMD is a FP7-EU project dealing with the fabrication of plasmonic nanostructures and the exploitation of different spectroscopic techniques (Raman, Infrared and THz spectroscopy) for the study of proteins in their native environment, with sensitivity enhanced towards the single molecule detection. BioNEM laboratory role in the project is the development of a new generation of plasmonic nanodevices for single molecule detection, with applications in the biochemical and simultaneously topographical characterization of cells membrane and proteins expression. The main focus is the coupling of three dimensional plasmonic nanostructures with micro-Raman spectroscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy. The plasmonic nanostructures are designed so that to produce an enhancement of the electromagnetic fields through adiabatic compression of polaritons. The geometry is chosen in order to overcome the diffraction limit of light and to produce sub-diffraction spot size. In combination with micro-Raman spectroscopy, such a spot size allows for a biochemical mapping of cells membrane with unprecedented spatial resolution.