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Role of thiol-containing polyethylene glycol (thiol-PEG) in the modification process of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs): stabilizer or coagulant?

Role of thiol-containing polyethylene glycol (thiol-PEG) in the modification process of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs): stabilizer or coagulant?

Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 404: 223-229

Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have significant potential as biosensors and drug delivery vehicles, as well as imaging and thermotherapy agents. Thiol-containing polyethylene glycol (PEG), hereafter denoted as thiol-PEG, is widely used as a macromolecular ligand for modifying AuNPs and stabilizing them under various environments. In this work, a series of thiol-PEG-modified AuNPs (PEGylated AuNPs) with different PEG molecular weights (Mw) were synthesized. The saturated capping density, charge-screening ability, and stability of the PEGylated AuNPs were then examined. The results showed that high-Mw PEG stabilized the AuNPs and screened the surface charge better than low-Mw PEG, but the latter showed higher saturated capping density. More importantly, PEG exhibited the maximum coagulation concentration (MCC) and critical stabilization concentration (CSC) in the stabilizing process of the AuNPs. Thiol-PEG acted as an AuNP stabilizer only when its concentration was higher than the CSC. Otherwise, thiol-PEG accelerated AuNPs aggregation, which reached the peak level at the MCC. These results were significant in recognizing the influence of thiol-PEG on the stability of AuNPs.

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Accession: 055614787

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23711661

DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2013.04.020

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