Photodegradable CuS SERS Probes for Intraoperative Residual Tumor Detection, Ablation, and Self-Clearance

Yuanyuan Qiu, Miao Lin, Gaoxian Chen, Chenchen Fan, Mingwang Li, Xiajing Gu, Shan Cong, Zhigang Zhao, Lei Fu, Xiaohong Fang*, Zeyu Xiao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) probes have exhibited great potential in biomedical applications. However, currently reported SERS probes are mainly fabricated by nondegradable Au or Ag nanostructures, which are not favorably cleared from the imaged tissues. This bottleneck hinders their in vivo applications. We herein explore a degradable SERS probe consisting of hollow CuS nanoparticles (NPs) to circumvent the current limitation. We identify, for the first time, the Raman enhancement effects of hollow CuS NPs as a SERS probe for Raman imaging of residual tumor lesions. Uniquely, CuS SERS probes are degradable, which stems from laser-induced photothermal effects of CuS NPs, leading to their disintegration from shell structures into individual crystals, thus facilitating their self-clearance from imaged tissues. This novel CuS SERS probe with photodegradation characteristics opens avenues for applying Raman imaging toward a myriad of biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23436-23444
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • CuS nanoparticles
  • Raman probes
  • intraoperative imaging
  • nanomedicine
  • phototherapy
  • surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)
  • theranostics

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