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Highly Stable Positively Charged Dendron-Encapsulated Gold Nanoparticles



Tae Joon Cho, Robert I. MacCuspie, Julien C. Gigault, Justin M. Gorham, John T. Elliott, Vincent A. Hackley


We report the development of a novel cationic dendron (TAG1-PCD) and a positively charged gold nanoparticle-dendron conjugate (PCD-AuNP). TAG1-PCD was designed by considering the reactivity, hydrophilicity, and cationic nature that is required to yield a stable gold conjugate in aqueous media. The PCD-AuNPs were synthesized by reduction of chloroauric acid in the presence of TAG1-PCD. The physicochemical properties of PCD-AuNPs were characterized by dynamic light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, UV-Vis absorbance, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy for investigation of size distribution, shape uniformity, surface plasmon resonance bands, and Au-dendron bonding. Asymmetric-flow field flow fractionation was employed to confirm the in situ size, purity, and surface properties of the PCD-AuNPs. Additionally, the stability of PCD-AuNPs was systematically evaluated with respect to shelf-life determination, stability in biological media and a wide range of pH values, resistance against chemical species, redispersibility from lyophilized state, and stability at temperatures relevant to biological systems. Dose dependent cell viability was evaluated in vitro using the human lung epithelial cell line A549 and a monkey kidney Vero cell line. Overall, the investigation confirmed the successful development of stable PCD-AuNPs with excellent stability in biologically relevant media containing proteins and electrolytes. The excellent aqueous stability and apparent lack of toxicity for this conjugate enhances its potential use as a test material for investigating interactions between positively charged nanoparticles and bio-cellular and bio-molecular systems, or as a vehicle for drug delivery.


gold, nanoparticle, dendron, dendrimer, positive charge, stability, in vitro, assay


Cho, T. , MacCuspie, R. , Gigault, J. , Gorham, J. , Elliott, J. and Hackley, V. (2014), Highly Stable Positively Charged Dendron-Encapsulated Gold Nanoparticles, Langmuir, [online], (Accessed July 19, 2024)


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Created March 13, 2014, Updated November 10, 2018