Original Paper

Gold Bulletin

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 99-105

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Polyethylene glycol functionalized gold nanoparticles: the influence of capping density on stability in various media

  • Joanne MansonAffiliated withNanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre, University of Ulster
  • , Dhiraj KumarAffiliated withNanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre, University of Ulster
  • , Brian J. MeenanAffiliated withNanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre, University of Ulster
  • , Dorian DixonAffiliated withNanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre, University of Ulster Email author 

Abstract

Thiol-terminated polyethylene glycol (PEG) is commonly used to functionalize the surface of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) in order to improve their in vivo stability and to avoid uptake by the reticular endothelial system. Although it has been reported that AuNPs functionalized with tethered PEG are stable in biological media, the influence of chain density remains unclear. This study investigates the influence of PEG capping density on the stability of washed and dried AuNPs in: water, phosphate-buffered saline solution (PBS), phosphate-buffered saline solution containing bovine serum albumin (PBS/BSA), and dichloromethane (DCM). PEG coating had a dramatic effect on stability enabling stable suspensions to be produced in all the media studied. A linear relationship was observed between capping density and stability in water and DCM with a somewhat lower stability observed in PBS and PBS/BSA. A maximum PEG loading level of ∼14 wt.% was achieved, equivalent to a PEG surface density of ∼1.13 chains/nm2.

Keywords

Gold nanoparticle Drying Redispersion in media Thiolated poly(ethylene glycol)