Rapid biological agent identification by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the development, production, stockpiling, and use of warfare agents (chemical and biological), and requires their destruction. Yet their use persists and has been included in the terrorist's arsenal. Currently, a number of analytical methods are being developed to perform rapid measurements of trace agents to ensure treaty compliance, as well as safe environments for military personal and the public at large. We have been investigating the ability of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy to detect bacterial nucleic acid-base pairs with sufficient sensitivity and selectivity to eliminate the need for enumeration used in polymerase chain reactions and culture growth, required by other measurement techniques. The design of a small volume, fiber optic coupled, electrolytic sample cell is presented along with analysis of DNA and RNA separated from non-toxic bacteria.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering