Technology - Drug Discovery Based on Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS)

Drug Discovery Based on Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS)

Enables drug discovery without introducing modifications to the molecules, while lowering costs by requiring only small amounts of the tested molecules.


Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a novel, label-free, sensitive, specific, fast, and relatively inexpensive tool for drug discovery. It offers the potential to detect and characterize binding between potential drug peptides and disease-related RNA. Other methods used for drug discovery consume significant time and resources. These techniques require labeling or long data collection methods. SERS can overcome these limitations by providing high sensitivity to directly detect even a single molecule without the need of prior labeling; thus only a small amount of drug is needed for analysis. SERS also provides high specificity to probe molecular composition without the need of labeling. 

Technology Overview:

This technology combines SERS with advanced statistical analysis to detect the binding of potential drug peptides to disease-related RNA repeats. This novel SERS platform can be used for a label-free screening of peptides as the first step of the drug discovery process. The platform can directly detect the interaction between potential drug molecules and their targets without the need for labels or multiple reagents. This enables detecting drugs without introducing modifications to the molecules, thereby eliminating unwanted interactions of the introduced molecule to the designated target. This technology also requires only a small amount of tested molecules, which reduces the cost of the experimental process.


•    High sensitivity and specificity (can detect a single molecule without the need of labeling or introducing detectable reagents). 
•    Differentiates specific binding from non-specific binding events between the potential drug peptide molecules and the disease-related RNA. 
•    Easy to use.


The primary application for this technology is drug discovery.

Intellectual Property Summary:

U.S. Provisional Patent No. 63/406,106 was filed on this technology on 9/13/22.

Stage of Development:

TRL 3 - Experimental proof of concept

Licensing Status:

This technology is available for licensing.

Licensing Potential:

This technology would be of interest to anyone involved in drug discovery, including:
•    Pharmaceutical developers.
•    Hospitals.
•    Medical research laboratories.
•    Educational institutions involved in medical research.

Patent Information: