Tunable stabilization of gold nanoparticles in aqueous solutions by mononucleotides

Wenting Zhao, Ming Hung Thomas Lee, Sharon S.Y. Leung, I. Ming Hsing

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Gold nanoparticles are one of the popular nanomaterials, widely used in biosensor applications as well as nanostructure construction. An essential attribute of these gold nanoparticles (Au-nps) is their stabilization against salt-induced aggregation. In this work, utilization of deoxyribonucleotides (dNTPs) as a tunable surface-stabilization agent for Au-nps was investigated. It was found that surfaces of Au-nps are covered by a layer of dNTPs after an adequate incubation with dNTPs solutions. Electrostatic repulsion among dNTP-coated Au-nps could prevent aggregation of Au-nps at a high salt concentration. The strength of dNTP-based protection can be manipulated by changing preparation protocols (e.g., incubation temperature, ionic strength, and ratio of Au-nps to dNTPs). Four different types of dNTPs exhibit different binding affinity to Au-nps and thus various stabilization efficiency in the order of dATP > dCTP > dGTP ≈ dTTP. Moreover, this salt-induced aggregation can be reinitiated by the increase of solution temperature, which leads to a partial removal of the protective dNTP layer on Au-nps. The advantage of thermally tunable aggregation/dispersion of Au-nps mediated by dNTP adsorption offers a useful approach for the preparation of biomolecule (oligonucleotides and oligopeptides) modified nanoparticles in applications of bioassay and nanobiotechnology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7143-7147
Number of pages5
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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