T7 bacteriophage induced changes of gold nanoparticle morphology: biopolymer capped gold nanoparticles as versatile probes for sensitive plasmonic biosensors
The morphological changes of gold nanoparticles induced by T7 virus (bacteriophage) and the determination of its femtomolar concentration by a plasmonic method are presented. Carboxymethyl chitosan capped gold nanoparticles (CMC-AuNPs) are used as plasmonic probes and are synthesized by a simple one pot wet chemical method. HR-TEM images show that the spherical structure of the CMC-AuNPs is changed into chain-like nanostructures after the addition of T7 virus due to the strong coordination of CMC-AuNPs with T7. Since T7 capsids comprise a repeating motif of capsomers built from proteins that bind to the acid groups of chitosan, the conjugation of carboxymethyl chitosan-linked AuNPs with T7 virions enables colorimetric biosensing detection. The absorbance intensity (∼610 nm) increases in the concentration range of T7 from 2 × 10−15 M to 2 × 10−13 M and the detection limit is found to be 2 × 10−15 M (2 fM). The present work demonstrates eco-friendly biopolymer stabilized AuNPs as potential nanomaterials for biosensing of viruses. Our method is very simple, low cost, selective and highly sensitive, and provides new insight into virus induced chain-like morphology of AuNPs.