Optical theranostic applications demand near-infrared (NIR) localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) and maximized electric field at nanosurfaces and nanojunctions, aiding diagnosis via Raman or optoacoustic imaging, and photothermal-based therapies. To this end, multiple permutations and combinations of plasmonic nanostructures and molecular “glues” or linkers are employed to obtain nanoassemblies, such as nanobranches and core–satellite morphologies. An advanced nanoassembly morphology comprising multiple linear tentacles anchored onto a spherical core is reported here. Importantly, this core-multi-tentacle-nanoassembly (CMT) benefits from numerous plasmonic interactions between multiple 5 nm gold nanoparticles (NPs) forming each tentacle as well as tentacle to core (15 nm) coupling. This results in an intense LSPR across the “biological optical window” of 650−1100 nm. It is shown that the combined interactions are responsible for the broadband LSPR and the intense electric field, otherwise not achievable with core–satellite morphologies. Further the sub 80 nm CMTs boosted NIR-surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), with detection of SERS labels at 47 × 10-9 m, as well as lower toxicity to noncancerous cell lines (human fibroblast Wi38) than observed for cancerous cell lines (human breast cancer MCF7), presents itself as an attractive candidate for use as biomedical theranostics agents.
- branched polymers
- broadband NIR absorbance
- cell toxicity
- plasmonic nanoassemblies
- surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)