Microchimica Acta

, Volume 182, Issue 7–8, pp 1255–1261 | Cite as

Microwave-assisted synthesis of BSA-modified silver nanoparticles as a selective fluorescent probe for detection and cellular imaging of cadmium(II)

  • Yu Gu
  • Nan Li
  • Mengmeng Gao
  • Zilu Wang
  • Deli Xiao
  • Yun Li
  • Huning JiaEmail author
  • Hua HeEmail author
Original Paper


We have developed a microwave-assisted method for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) whose surface is modified with bovine serum albumin (BSA). The reaction involves reduction of the BSA-Ag(I) complex by tyrosine in strongly alkaline solution to form BSA-AgNPs. The reaction takes a few minutes only owing to rapid and uniform microwave heating. The modified AgNPs were characterized by UV–vis and fluorescence spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and X- ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The BSA-AgNPs are yellow and display luminescence with a maximum at 521 nm if excited at 465 nm. They have a hydrodynamic diameter of 3–5 nm and possess good colloidal stability in the pH 4.6 to 12.0 range. The fluorescence of the BSA-AgNPs is enhanced by Cd(II) ion due to the formation of a stable hybrid conjugate referred to as Cd@BSA-AgNPs. The effect was exploited to quantify Cd(II) in spiked real water samples with a 4.7 nM detection limit, and also to fluorescently image Cd(II) in Hepatoma cells.

Graphical Abstract

A conjugate of the type BSA-AgNPs was prepared by reduction of Ag(I) ion in the presence of bovine serum albumin. Its fluorescence was found to be enhanced on addition of Cd(II) ions. The effect was exploited to determine Cd(II) in water samples and to fluorescently image Cd(II) in hepatoma cells.


Fluorescence Fluorescent probe Silver nanoparticle BSA Microwave synthesis 



This work was financially supported by The Research and Innovation Project for Graduate Students Academic Degree of Colleges and Universities of Jiangsu Province (KYLX_0618), National Found for Fostering Talents of Basic Science (NFFTBS)-Provincial Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training Program for College Students (No.J1030830). We are delighted to acknowledge discussions with colleagues in our research group.

Supplementary material

604_2014_1438_MOESM1_ESM.docx (207 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 206 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Analytical ChemistryChina Pharmaceutical UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Drug Quality Control and Pharmacovigilance, China Pharmaceutical UniversityMinistry of EducationNanjingChina

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