Klarite as a label-free SERS-based assay: A promising approach for atmospheric bioaerosol detection

Muhammad Ali Tahir, Xinlian Zhang, Hanyun Cheng, Dong Xu, Yiqing Feng, Guodong Sui, Hongbo Fu, Ventsislav K. Valev, Liwu Zhang, Jianmin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (SciVal)


Detecting atmospheric bioaerosols in a quantitative way is highly desirable for public health and safety. This work demonstrates that surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a simple and rapid analytical technique for the detection of atmospheric bioaerosols, on a Klarite substrate. For both simulated and ambient bioaerosols, this detection assay results in an increase in the enhancement factor of the Raman signal. We report a strong SERS signal generated by bioaerosols containing living Escherichia coli deposited on Klarite. Furthermore, we demonstrate that SERS mapping can be used to estimate the percentage of airborne, living Escherichia coli. Moreover, Klarite provides differently distinct SERS spectra at different bacterial growth phases, indicating its potential to identify changes occurring in the bacterial envelope. Finally, we applied SERS for the rapid detection of Escherichia coli in ambient bioaerosols without using time-consuming and laborious culture processes. Our results represent rapid, culture-free and label-free detection of airborne bacteria in the real-world environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-285
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Early online date12 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Klarite as a label-free SERS-based assay: A promising approach for atmospheric bioaerosol detection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this