Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 14, 2013
Previous Article Next Article

Molecularly stabilised ultrasmall gold nanoparticles: synthesis, characterization and bioactivity

Author affiliations

Abstract

Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are widely used as contrast agents in electron microscopy as well as for diagnostic tests. Due to their unique optical and electrical properties and their small size, there is also a growing field of potential applications in medical fields of imaging and therapy, for example as drug carriers or as active compounds in thermotherapy. Besides their intrinsic optical properties, facile surface decoration with (bio)functional ligands renders AuNPs ideally suited for many industrial and medical applications. However, novel AuNPs may have toxicological profiles differing from bulk and therefore a thorough analysis of the quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) is required. Several mechanisms are proposed that cause adverse effects of nanoparticles in biological systems. Catalytic generation of reactive species due to the large and chemically active surface area of nanomaterials is well established. Because nanoparticles approach the size of biological molecules and subcellular structures, they may overcome natural barriers by active or passive uptake. Ultrasmall AuNPs with sizes of 2 nm or less may even behave as molecular ligands. These types of potential interactions would imply a size and ligand-dependent behaviour of any nanomaterial towards biological systems. Thus, to fully understand their QSAR, AuNPs bioactivity should be analysed in biological systems of increasing complexity ranging from cell culture to whole animal studies.

Graphical abstract: Molecularly stabilised ultrasmall gold nanoparticles: synthesis, characterization and bioactivity

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 21 Feb 2013, accepted on 28 Apr 2013 and first published on 08 May 2013


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR00916E
Nanoscale, 2013,5, 6224-6242

  •   Request permissions

    Molecularly stabilised ultrasmall gold nanoparticles: synthesis, characterization and bioactivity

    A. Leifert, Y. Pan-Bartnek, U. Simon and W. Jahnen-Dechent, Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 6224
    DOI: 10.1039/C3NR00916E

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements