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Tailoring the Synthesis and Heating Ability of Gold Nanoprisms for Bioapplications

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journal contribution
posted on 19.06.2012, 00:00 by Beatriz Pelaz, Valeria Grazu, Alfonso Ibarra, Cesar Magen, Pablo del Pino, Jesus M. de la Fuente
The paper describes a novel and straightforward wet-chemical synthetic route to produce biocompatible single-crystalline gold tabular nanoparticles, herein called nanoprisms (NPRs) due to their characteristic shape. Besides the novelty of the method to produce NPRs with an unprecedented high yield, the synthesis avoids the use of highly toxic cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), the most widely used surfactant for the synthesis of gold anisotropic nanoparticles such as nanorods or nanoprisms. The method presented here allows for tuning the edge length of NPRs in the range of 100–170 nm by adjusting the final concentration/molar ratio of gold salt and reducing agent (thiosulfate), while the thickness of NPRs remained constant (9 nm). Thus, the surface plasmon band of NPRs can be set along the near-infrared (NIR) range. The resulting NPRs were derivatized with heterobifunctional polyethylene glycol (PEG) and 4-aminophenyl β-d-glucopyranoside (glucose) chains to improve their stability and cellular uptake, respectively. The heating properties of colloidal solutions of NPRs upon 1064 nm light illumination were evaluated. As a proof of concept, the biocompatibility and suitability of functional NPRs as photothermal agents were studied in cell cultures. Due to their biocompatibility (avoiding CTAB), ease of production, ease of functionalization, and remarkable heating features, the NPRs discussed herein represent a significant advance in the biocompatibility of nanoparticles and serve as an attractive alternative to those currently in use as plasmonic photothermal agents.