Nonionic fluorosurfactant as an ideal candidate for one-step modification of gold nanorods†
In this work, a novel protocol was developed for size tuning and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) removal of gold nanorods using commercially available nonionic fluorosurfactants (FSN), an excellent candidate for PEG and other modification reagents. The tunable gold nanorods can easily be obtained by stopping the ligand replacement reaction at different time intervals. The FSN-coated gold nanorods are stable in the presence of high salt concentrations and over a wide range of pH values. Additionally, the cellular uptake experiments demonstrate that the FSN-coated gold nanorods have superior features in comparison to the widely used PEG-coated gold nanorods, such as high uptake amount, tunable uptake and excellent stability. Our findings suggest that FSN ligands are an ideal candidate for modifying gold nanorods with tunable aspect ratios, excellent biocompatibility, nontoxicity, and high stability, enabling conjugation to biomolecules for specific targeting, uptake, and delivery.