Applying SERS to Expand the Pool of Markers Under Investigation in Clinical Settings

Oct 25, 2023
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About This Webinar
This presentation describes the path to adopt surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) in clinical settings, including some of the efforts to develop enzymatic activity assays, direct-detection protein quantification assays, and some of the pitfalls that have been encountered. Recent studies suggest that SERS is capable of single-molecule detection. Furthermore, in-house studies have shown that SERS signals are detectable at dye concentrations at least 1000x lower than fluorescence when using basic plate readers and spectrometers.

Remarkably, Raman spectroscopy has struggled to gain adoption in the clinic where markers indicative of disease, expressed in low concentrations, low volume, or highly proteinaceous biofluids, are being overlooked or undervalued. The most common reasons for this include sample preparation and signal reproducibility, complex biological milieu interference with surface interactions, complicated measurement apparatuses and back-end data analysis, and lack of reasonably priced automated tools that can be easily deployed in clinical settings. Sheik’s team has developed an assay platform using SERS as a detection method which is currently undergoing translation into a CLIA-regulated environment for early detection of pancreatic cancer.

*** This presentation premiered during the 2023 BioPhotonics Conference. For more information on Photonics Media conferences and summits, visit

About the presenter

Daniel SheikDaniel A. Sheik, Ph.D., is the director of research and technology at Amplified Sciences. He received his bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in biochemistry and his doctorate in chemistry from the University of California, San Diego. In between his undergraduate and graduate work, he was an associate scientist at Mirus and, later, Roche Madison, investigating polymer architectures and design for RNA therapeutics. After completing his doctoral degree studying polymeric nanoparticles to inhibit amyloid-directed transmission of HIV, Sheik returned to the Purdue Institute for Drug Discovery to conduct his postdoctoral training. There he designed, synthesized, and tested novel targeted small molecule therapeutics for a wide range of diseases, including autoimmune and sickle cell. Sheik was also a senior scientist in drug delivery at Cellphire, employing platelets as drug delivery vehicles and using their natural ability to target sites of injury to generate hematologic, cancer, and imaging therapeutics. His training has included a wide range of assay development, optical spectroscopy, chemistry, and biochemistry which he is leveraging in his leadership position at Amplified Sciences.

In his current role, the team he leads is working to translate surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy to clinical settings as a diagnostic tool, with a primary goal of increasing diagnostic resolution in pancreatic cancer detection. Amplified Sciences is on pace to have a CLIA-certified lab opening by the end of 2023 that will be running their lead panel of assays to rule-out patients in whom a pancreatic cyst has been detected from further unnecessary evaluation.
pancreatic cancerSERS spectroscopyspectroscopyBiophotonics
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