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Title: On the observation of the need for an unusually high concentration of Cysteine and Homocysteine to Induce Aggregation of Polymer stabilized Gold Nano Particles
Authors: Radhakumary, C
Sreenivasan, K
Issue Date: Jan-2013
Publisher: J Nanopart Res.
Citation: J Nanopart Res. 2013; 15 (1): 1439
Abstract: This study reports the interaction of chitosan-stabilized gold nanoparticles (CH-AuNPs) with cysteine (Cys) and homocysteine (Hcys) in aqueous media at pH 1.4. Since the polymer precipitates at higher pH, and the amino acids Cys and HCys are soluble at acidic pH, we kept the pH around 1.4 for stabilizing the particles. Zeta potential of CH-AuNPs was found to be positive and it is reasonable to assume that +ve Cys or Hcys at pH 1.4 will experience repulsive force. However, TEM images and absorption spectra indicated formation of aggregates including rod-like assembly. An interesting observation was the need for unusually high concentration of analytes (Cys and Hcys) to induce the assembly of CH-AuNPs. We also found time bound variation of the optical properties probably indicating the interaction is kinetically controlled and only a fraction of the analyte molecules having sufficient energy can bind onto the particles. We observed that at elevated temperature, the reaction was faster with a lower concentration of Cys or Hcys. These observations were supported by the classical Derjaguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek (DLVO) theory which describes the interparticle interaction and the colloidal stability in solution. Only molecules possessing enough energy to cross this force barrier can cause the aggregation. We also noted a time lag between Cys and Hcys to influence optical properties reflecting the possibility of using this simple approach to discriminate these two clinically relevant molecules. Our observation shows that simple sensing as well as generation of novel nanostructures could be manipulated by a judicious choice of conditions such as stabilizing agents, pH, etc.
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