In-situ Investigations on Gold Nanoparticles Stabilization Mechanisms in Biological Environments Containing HSA
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2022

Nanoparticles (NPs) developments advance innovative biomedical applications. However, complex interactions and the low colloidal stability of NPs in biological media restrict their widespread utilization. The influence of NPs properties on the colloidal stability for gold NPs with 5 and 40 nm in diameter with two surface modifications, methoxy-polyethylene glycol-sulfhydryl (PEG) and citrate, in NaCl and human serum albumin (HSA) protein solution, is investigated. This study is based on small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) methods allowing the in-situ monitoring of interactions in physiological conditions. The PEG coating provides high colloidal stability for NPs of both sizes. For 5 nm NPs in NaCl solution, a stable 3D self-assembled body-centered cubic (BCC) arrangement is detected with an interparticle distance of 20.7 ± 0.1 nm. In protein solution, this distance increases to 21.9 ± 0.1 nm by protein penetration inside the ordered structure. For citrate-capped NPs, a different mechanism is observed. The protein particles attach to the NPs surfaces, and an appropriate concentration of proteins results in a stable suspension. Cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (Cryo-TEM), UV–visible spectroscopy, and dynamic light scattering (DLS) support the SAXS results. The findings will pave the way to design and synthesize NPs with controlled behaviors in biomedical applications.

UV–visible spectroscopy

gold nanoparticles


human serum albumin

small-angle X-ray scattering

colloidal stability

protein corona


Neda Iranpour Anaraki

Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt (Empa)

Université de Fribourg

Marianne Liebi

Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt (Empa)

Chalmers, Fysik, Materialfysik

Quy Ong

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Clément Blanchet

European Molecular Biology Laboratory Hamburg

Anjani K. Maurya

Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt (Empa)

Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory

Francesco Stellacci

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Stefan Salentinig

Université de Fribourg

Peter Wick

Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt (Empa)

Antonia Neels

Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt (Empa)

Université de Fribourg

Advanced Functional Materials

1616-301X (ISSN)

Vol. 32 9 2110253


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