Theoretical Design of a Janus-Nanoparticle-Based Sandwich Assay for Nucleic Acids

Takumi Sato, Keiko Esashika, Eiji Yamamoto, Toshiharu Saiki, Noriyoshi Arai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nanoparticles exhibit diverse self-assembly attributes and are expected to be applicable under unique settings. For instance, biomolecules can be sandwiched between dimer nanoparticles and detected by surface-enhanced Raman scattering. Controlling the gap between extremely close dimers and stably capturing the target molecule in the gap are crucial aspects of this strategy. Therefore, polymer-tethered nanoparticles (PTNPs), which show promise as high-performance materials that exhibit the attractive features of both NPs and polymers, were targeted in this study to achieve stable biomolecule sensing. Using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, the dependence of the PTNP interactions on the length of the grafted polymer, graft density, and coverage ratio of a hydrophobic tether were examined. The results indicated that the smaller the tether length and graft density, the smaller was the distance between the PTNP surfaces ((Formula presented.)). In contrast, (Formula presented.) decreased as the coverage ratio of the hydrophobic surface ((Formula presented.)) increased. The sandwiching probability of the sensing target increased in proportion to the coverage ratio. At high (Formula presented.) values, the PTNPs aggregated into three or more particles, which hindered their sensing attributes. These results provide fundamental insight into the sensing applications of NPs and demonstrate the usefulness of PTNPs in sensing biomolecules.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8807
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Aug


  • molecular simulation
  • nanoparticle
  • nanosensor
  • self-assembly
  • surface-enhanced Raman scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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