Self-assembly of l-cysteine–gold nanoparticles as chiral probes for visual recognition of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine enantiomers†
A simple protocol to distinguish enantiomers is extremely intriguing and useful. Herein, we report on a method for the visual recognition of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (Dopa) enantiomers. It is based on the chirality of L-cysteine-capped gold nanoparticles (L-Cys-capped AuNPs) that can be used as a chiral selector for L- and D- forms of Dopa. On addition of L-Dopa to a solution of the L-Cys-capped AuNPs, a color change from red to blue can be seen, while no color change is found on addition of D-Dopa. The chiral recognition can be achieved by eye and simple spectrophotometry. Notably, this method does not require complicated chiral modification. The method excels through its low-cost, good availability of materials, and its simplicity.