Size-Controlled, Biofunctionalized Gold Nanoparticles

Size-Controlled, Biofunctionalized Gold Nanoparticles

Although gold nanoparticles have become a staple of targeting and delivery efforts, conventional synthesis methods for their production are not quite up to par – toxicity issues,New Bitmap Image (2) low ligand densities and batch-to-batch variances plague AuNPs synthesized through conventional procedures. The feasibility of gold-based therapies therefore hinges on the development of new techniques for the large-scale production of gold nanoparticles, and UNAM’s Nanobiotechnology and Biomimetic Materials groups have now used the flexibility of peptide-based structures to devise a new method for the job.

The team’s peptide design combines integrin-targeting RGD and metal-binding DOPA domains, which allow the synthesis and biofunctionalization of gold nanoparticles to be performed through a single material. The multi-domain peptides can directly facilitate the formation of gold nanoparticles from auric acid in the absence of stabilizing agents or toxic reagents, eliminating the necessity of purification and solvent exchange steps prior to the administration of the final product. The peptide component also contributes to the post-synthesis functionality of AuNPs, allowing the material to target and enter human breast adenocarcinoma cells through integrin binding.

The study in question has been published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. It can be accessed at the following address:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsami.5b00093

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