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A nanowire-mediated surface plasmon resonance (SPR) imaging is numerically investigated for enhanced sensitivity. The results calculated by rigorous coupled-wave analysis present that interplays between localized surface plasmons and surface plasmon polaritons contribute to sensitivity enhancement. Compared to conventional thin film-based SPR imaging measurement, an optimal nanowire structure can provide sensitivity enhancement by 3.44 times as well as highly linear detection property for quantification of surface reactions of interests. This paper demonstrates the potential and limitation for a highly sensitive, label-free, and real-time SPR imaging sensor based on periodic metallic nanowires.