Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 13, Issue 7, pp 2759–2767 | Cite as

Inhibition effects of protein-conjugated amorphous zinc sulfide nanoparticles on tumor cells growth

  • Ying Cao
  • Hua-Jie Wang
  • Cui Cao
  • Yuan-Yuan Sun
  • Lin Yang
  • Bao-Qing Wang
  • Jian-Guo Zhou
Research paper


In this article, a facile and environmentally friendly method was applied to fabricate BSA-conjugated amorphous zinc sulfide (ZnS) nanoparticles using bovine serum albumin (BSA) as the matrix. Transmission electron microscopy analysis indicated that the stable and well-dispersed nanoparticles with the diameter of 15.9 ± 2.1 nm were successfully prepared. The energy dispersive X-ray, X-ray powder diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectrograph, high resolution transmission electron microscope, and selected area electron diffraction measurements showed that the obtained nanoparticles had the amorphous structure and the coordination occurred between zinc sulfide surfaces and BSA in the nanoparticles. In addition, the inhibition effects of BSA-conjugated amorphous zinc sulfide nanoparticles on tumor cells growth were described in detail by cell viability analysis, optical and electron microscopy methods. The results showed that BSA-conjugated amorphous zinc sulfide nanoparticles could inhibit the metabolism and proliferation of human hepatocellular carcinoma cells, and the inhibition was dose dependent. The half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) was 0.36 mg/mL. Overall, this study suggested that BSA-conjugated amorphous zinc sulfide nanoparticles had the application potential as cytostatic agents and BSA in the nanoparticles could provide the modifiable site for the nanoparticles to improve their bioactivity or to endow them with the target function.


BSA Amorphous zinc sulfide Nanoparticles Aqueous chemistry method Tumor cells Nanomedicine 



This study was financially supported by the National Science Foundation of China (20971039, 20771036 and 20871042), the National Key Basic Research and Development Program of China (2009CB626610), Key Foundation Project from Education Ministry of China (207070), and the National College Students Innovation Experiment Program of China (2009039).

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying Cao
    • 1
  • Hua-Jie Wang
    • 1
  • Cui Cao
    • 1
  • Yuan-Yuan Sun
    • 1
  • Lin Yang
    • 1
  • Bao-Qing Wang
    • 1
  • Jian-Guo Zhou
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Chemistry and Environmental ScienceHenan Normal UniversityXinxiangPeople’s Republic of China

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