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Detoxification of gold nanorods by conjugation with thiolated poly(ethylene glycol) and their assessment as SERS-active carriers of Raman tags

, : Detoxification of gold nanorods by conjugation with thiolated poly(ethylene glycol) and their assessment as SERS-active carriers of Raman tags. Nanotechnology 21(23): 235601-235601

We present an effective, low cost protocol to reduce the toxicity of gold nanorods induced by the presence of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) on their lateral surface as a result of the synthesis process. Here, we use thiolated methoxy-poly(ethylene) glycol (mPEG-SH) polymer to displace most of the CTAB bilayer cap from the particle surface. The detoxification process, chemical and structural stability of as-prepared mPEG-SH-conjugated gold nanorods were characterized using a number of techniques including localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). In view of future applications as near-infrared (NIR) nanoheaters in localized photothermal therapy of cancer, we investigated the thermal behaviour of mPEG-SH-conjugated gold nanorods above room temperature. We found a critical temperature at around 40 degrees C at which the adsorbed polymer layer is susceptible to undergo conformational changes. Additionally, we believe that such plasmonic nanoprobes could act as SERS-active carriers of Raman tags for application in cellular imaging. In this sense we successfully tested them as effective SERS substrates at 785 nm laser line with p-aminothiophenol (pATP) as a tag molecule.


PMID: 20463383

DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/21/23/235601

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