2021 Nature Communications paper that made use of CMM's instruments

2 March 2021

2021 Nature Communications paper that made use of CMM's instruments

A digital single-molecule nanopillar SERS platform for predicting and monitoring immune toxicities in immunotherapy

CMM helped to develop (in our Clean Room EBL facility) the chip and coating techniques for 'binding antibodies' and catch cytokines as well as characterising the surfaces with SEM and Mass Spec. 

The device was invented at UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) by Professor Matt Trau's group in collaboration with Dr Alain Wuethrich and Junrong Li (Trau Group) and Dr Elliot Cheng (CMM).

“To precisely fabricate the pillar array, we opted to use an electron beam lithographic approach to write the array into a photon-sensitive material followed by physical vapour deposition of gold to create the gold-topped pillars, and selectively reactive ion etching to reveal the pillar structure (Supplementary Fig. 1). The nanopillar array chip consisted of 250,000 individual pillars. As shown in the scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of Fig. 1a, the cubic nanopillars have an edge-to-edge width of 1000 nm and are evenly distributed at 1000 nm intervals to suit the lateral Raman microscope resolution (~1000 nm) that fulfils the Rayleigh criterion separation required to acquire a single SERS spectrum from each pillar without spectral overlap from adjacent pillars".

"By using specific gold-thiol chemistry with the linker molecule dithiobis (succinimidyl propionate) (DSP), the gold-topped pillars were selectively functionalised with target recognition antibodies (anti-FGF-2, anti-G-CSF, anti-GM-CSF, and anti-CX3CL1) and acted as the small compartments to capture and confine the individual cytokine. Upon DSP binding on the gold-topped pillars through gold-thiol bond, DSP uses N-hydroxysuccimide (NHS) ester to react with the amine groups of the antibodies".

Dr Elliot Cheng is our CMM expert in nano-structuring, patterning and characterisations.  Mass Spec was done by Dr Brett Hamilton and students.