, Volume 396, Issue 3, pp 1087-1094
Date: 13 Sep 2009

Electrophoretic properties of BSA-coated quantum dots

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Abstract

Low toxic InP/ZnS quantum dots (QDs), ZnS:Mn2+/ZnS nanocrystals and CdSe/ZnS nanoparticles were rendered water-dispersible by different ligand-exchange methods. Eventually, they were coated with bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a model protein. All particles were characterised by isotachophoresis (ITP), laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) and agarose gel electrophoresis. It was found that the electrophoretic mobility and colloidal stability of ZnS:Mn2+/ZnS and CdSe/ZnS nanoparticles, which bore short-chain surface ligands, was primarily governed by charges on the nanoparticles, whereas InP/ZnS nanocrystals were not charged per se. BSA-coated nanoparticles showed lower electrophoretic mobility, which was attributed to their larger size and smaller overall charge. However, these particles were colloidally stable. This stability was probably caused by steric stabilisation of the BSA coating.