We investigate the potential of surface plasmon polaritons at noble metal interfaces for surface-enhanced chiroptical sensing of dilute chiral drug solutions with nl volume. The high quality factor of surface plasmon resonances in both Otto and Kretschmann configurations enables the enhancement of circular dichroism differenatial absorption thanks to the large near-field intensity of such plasmonic excitations. Furthermore, the subwavelength confinement of surface plasmon polaritons is key to attain chiroptical sensitivity to small amounts of drug volumes placed around ≃100 nm by the metal surface. Our calculations focus on reparixin, a pharmaceutical molecule currently used in clinical studies for patients with community-acquired pneumonia, including COVID-19 and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Considering realistic dilute solutions of reparixin dissolved in water with concentration ≤ 5 mg/ml and nl volume, we find a circular-dichroism differential absorption enhancement factor of the order ≃20 and chirality-induced polarization distortion upon surface plasmon polariton excitation. Our results are relevant for the development of innovative chiroptical sensors capable of measuring the enantiomeric imbalance of chiral drug solutions with nl volume.
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