Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy and microfluidic platforms: challenges, solutions and potential applications

in: Analyst (2017)
Jahn, Izabella-Jolan; Zukovskaja, Olga; Zheng, Xiao-Shan; Weber, Karina; Bocklitz, Thomas W.; Cialla-May, Dana; Popp, Jürgen
The exhaustive body of literature published in the last four years on the development and application of sytems based on surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) combined with microfluidic devices demonstrates that this research field is a current hot-topic. This synergy, also referred to as lab-on-a-chip SERS (LoC-SERS) or nano-, micro-optofluidics SERS,opened the door for new opportunities where both techniques can profit of. On one hand, SERS measurements are considerably improved because processes previously done on a large scale in the laboratory and human error prone arenow carried out in nanoliter volumes in an automatic and reproducible manner. On the other hand, microfluidic platforms need detection methods able to sense in small volumes and therefore, SERS is ideal for this task. The present review does not only aim to give the reader an overview of the recent developments and advancements in the field, but it also addressess aspects of fundamental SERS theory influencing the interpretation of SERS spectra, challenges brought by experimental conditions and chemometric data analysis.

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