Glyconanoparticles for colorimetric bioassays.

Carbohydrate molecules are involved in many of the cellular processes that are important for life. By combining the specific analyte targeting of carbohydrates with the multivalent structure and change of solution colour as a consequence of plasmonic interactions with the aggregation of metal nanoparticles, glyconanoparticles have been used extensively for the development of bioanalytical assays. The noble metals used to create the nanocore, the methodologies used to assemble the carbohydrates on the nanoparticle surface, the carbohydrate chosen for each specific target, the length of the tether that separates the carbohydrate from the nanocore and the density of carbohydrates on the surface all impact on the structural formation of metal based glyconanoparticles. This tutorial review highlights these key components, which directly impact on the selectivity and sensitivity of the developed bioassay, for the colorimetric detection of lectins, toxins and viruses.