The stability of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) in biological samples is very important for their biomedical applications. Although various molecules such as polystyrenesulfonate (PSS), phosphine, DNA, and polyethylene glycol (PEG) have been used to stabilize AuNPs, it is still very difficult to stabilize large AuNPs. As a result, biomedical applications of large (30-100 nm) AuNPs are limited, even though they possess more favorable optical properties and are easier to be taken up by cells than smaller AuNPs. To overcome this limitation, we herein report a novel method of preparing large (30-100 nm) AuNPs with a high colloidal stability and facile chemical or biological functionality, via surface passivation with an amphiphilic polymer polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). This PVP passivation results in an extraordinary colloidal stability for 13, 30, 50, 70, and 100 nm AuNPs to be stabilized in PBS for at least 3 months. More importantly, the PVP capped AuNPs (AuNP-PVP) were also resistant to protein adsorption in the presence of serum containing media and exhibit a negligible cytotoxicity. The AuNP-PVPs functionalized with a DNA aptamer AS1411 remain biologically active, resulting in significant increase in the uptake of the AuNPs (∼12 200 AuNPs per cell) in comparison with AuNPs capped by a control DNA of the same length. The novel method developed in this study to stabilize large AuNPs with high colloidal stability and biological activity will allow much wider applications of these large AuNPs for biomedical applications, such as cellular imaging, molecular diagnosis, and targeted therapy.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces