• Saeideh Ostovar Pour

Student thesis: Unknown


Raman optical activity (ROA) is a powerful probe of the structure and behaviour of biomolecules in aqueous solution for a number of important problems in molecular biology. Although ROA is a very sensitive technique for studying biological samples, it is a very weak effect and the conditions of high concentration and long data collection time required limit its application for a wide range of biological samples. These limitations could possibly be overcome using the principle of surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). The combination of ROA with SERS in the form of surface enhanced ROA (SEROA) could be a solution for widening the application of ROA. In the last few years, the generation of reliable SEROA spectra of biomolecules has been problematic due to non-homogenous colloidal systems forming and low signal-to-noise ratios which complicated detection of the true SEROA signal from the analyte. L- and D-enantiomers give full or partially mirror image chiroptical spectra, this property of enantiomers can be employed to prove the chiroptical activity of the SEROA technique. In this thesis we employed a hydrophilic polycarbopol polymer as stabilising media which has led to the first report of mirror image SEROA bands for enantiomeric structures. This new technique of incorporating the hydrogel polymer as a means to stabilise the colloidal system has proven to be reliable in obtaining high quality SEROA spectra of D- and L-enantiomers of ribose and tryptophan. In an extension of the hydrogel-stabilised SEROA work, we also demonstrate that single nanoparticle plasmonic substrate such as silver silica nanotags can enhance the weak ROA effect. These dye tagged silica coated silver nanoparticles have enabled a chiral response to be transmitted from a chiral analyte to the plasmon resonance of an achiral metallic nanostructure. The measurement of mirror image SERROA bands for the two enantiomers of each of ribose and tryptophan was confirmed for this system. The generation of SEROA for both systems was achieved and confirmed SEROA as a new sensitive tool for analysis of biomolecular structure.In a related project, Raman and ROA spectra were measured for adenosine and seven of its derivative ribonucleotides. Both of these spectroscopic techniques are shown to be sensitive to the site and degree of phosphorylation, with a considerable number of marker bands being identified for these ribonucleotides. Moreover, the SERS studies of these ribonucleotides were also performed. The obtained SERS spectra were shown similar features that confirm these analytes interact with the surface in a similar manner, hence limiting the structural sensitivity of this method towards phosphate position.Short dipeptides such as diketopiperazine (DKP) have been investigated during the last decades as both natural and synthetic DKPs have a wide variety of biological activities. Raman and ROA spectra of linear and cyclic dialanine and diserine were measured to charecterize their solution structures. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations were carried out by a collaborator to assist in making vibrational band assignments. Considerable differences were observed between the ROA bands for the cyclic and linear forms of both dialanine and diserine that reflect large differences in the vibrational modes of the polypeptide backbone upon cyclicization. In this study, the ROA spectra of cyclic dialanine and diserine have been reported for the first time which demonstrated that ROA spectroscopy when utilised in combination with computational modelling clearly provides a potential tool for characterization of cyclic peptides.
Date of Award31 Dec 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorEwan Blanch (Supervisor)


  • Raman, Raman optical activity (ROA), Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), Surface enhanced ROA (SEROA), Chirality, Enantiomers, Ribose, Tryptophan, Single plasmonic substrate, Silver silica nanotag, Ribonucleotides, Phosphorylation detection, Silver colloids, Linear and cyclic short dipeptides, dialanine, diserine

Cite this