Metal-enhanced bioluminescence: an approach for monitoring biological luminescent processes Academic Article uri icon


  • In this letter, the observation of metal (plasmon)-enhanced bioluminescence is reported. Bacteria, which are capable of generating specific bioluminescence signatures upon metabolic changes (general toxicity), have been studied from both glass and silvered glass microwell bottoms, where the silvered microwells have been modified with surface deposited silver island films (SiFs). The presence of the SiFs plasmon amplifies the near-field bioluminescence signatures, ≈<50 nm ≈ from the surface, enabling amplified detection of the reporter bioluminescence indicating sample toxicity. Using our approach a greater than fivefold enhancement in far-field bioluminescence occurs with much greater enhancements in the near-field predicted.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009