Chalcogenopyrylium Dyes for Multiplex Biosensing
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Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has gained recognition as a biomedical imaging technique because of its sensitivity and multiplexing capabilities. By sensing multiple disease biomarkers at once, early disease detection improves. Pyrylium dyes contain a highly modifiable scaffold that can be used to generate unique, spectroscopically distinguishable dyes with applications as SERS reporter molecules. High-binding affinity between a reporter molecule and the SERS substrate, typically a gold nanoparticle, can be achieved by functionalizing pyrylium dyes with high chalcogen content. Sum-frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy (SFG-VS) can be used to determine the binding angle between a dye and the gold surface. The position and location of the chalcogen atoms in pyrylium dyes affects their binding angle. A new library of chalcogenopyrylium dyes containing various combinations of 3-thienyl, 2,6-dimethylphenyl, and t-butyl substituents was synthesized and analyzed as potential SERS reporters for multiplex biosensing studies. These dyes are hypothesized to bind at a unique angle compared to previously investigated 2-thienyl pyryliums and will provide more insight into how structural modification affect binding surface coverage and SERS intensity.