One-step fabrication of LSPR-tuneable reconfigurable assemblies of gold nanoparticles decorated with biotin-binding proteins†
Assemblies of gold nanoparticles with chain-like morphologies and new near-infrared (NIR) localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) are obtained by adding the biotin-binding proteins avidin, neutravidin or streptavidin to citrate-capped nanoparticles. The key idea behind this one-step fabrication method is to destabilize the colloids by adding positively charged proteins and/or by making their zeta potential less negative. The extent of assembly, and therefore the NIR LSPR, can be fine-tuned by varying the concentration of proteins as well as by changing the pH of the solution. The resulting nanoparticle clusters can also reconfigure into smaller assemblies that absorb less NIR light by adding thiolated molecules or by increasing the pH of the solution. This, along with the observation that the proteins retain their biotin-binding properties in the assemblies, makes the proposed method promising for the development of new biosensors and drug delivery platforms capable of self-regulating their optical properties as a function of chemical signals in their environment.