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Issue 27, 2012
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Water-soluble gold nanoparticles stabilized with cationic phosphonium thiolate ligands

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Abstract

Attachment of cationic groups to the surface of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) is an attractive proposition for facilitating mitochondria-targeted therapeutics and diagnostics. With this in mind we have prepared and characterised AuNPs functionalised with phosphonium groups derived from either triarylphosphoniopropylthiosulfate zwitterions or ω-thioacetylpropyl(triphenyl)phosphonium salts; organophosphonium cations display remarkable lipophilicity and are readily taken up by cells and are concentrated in the mitochondria. The phosphonium-functionalised AuNPs can be dispersed in water and biological media. Transmission Electron Microscopy reveals the formation of spherical particles with diameters in the range 3–5 nm. The presence of the phosphonioalkylthiolate ligands on the surface of the AuNPs is confirmed by XPS, LDI-TOF-MS, TOF-SIMS and 31P NMR spectroscopy. The phosphonium-AuNPs display excellent stability and preliminary studies indicate that the phosphonioalkylthiolate ligands are slowly oxidised over a period of months to the corresponding phosphonioalkylsulfonate species with a concomitant increase in the particle size, and particle size distribution, of the AuNPs.

Graphical abstract: Water-soluble gold nanoparticles stabilized with cationic phosphonium thiolate ligands

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Jul 2012, accepted on 28 Aug 2012 and first published on 21 Sep 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2RA21421K
Citation: RSC Adv., 2012,2, 10345-10351
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    Water-soluble gold nanoparticles stabilized with cationic phosphonium thiolate ligands

    Y. Ju-Nam, Y. Chen, J. J. Ojeda, D. W. Allen, N. A. Cross, P. H. E. Gardiner and N. Bricklebank, RSC Adv., 2012, 2, 10345
    DOI: 10.1039/C2RA21421K

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