A poly(3-hydroxybutyrate)–chitosan polymer conjugate for the synthesis of safer gold nanoparticles and their applications†
A facile and eco-friendly approach is developed for the synthesis of a poly(3-hydroxybutyrate)–chitosan (PHB–chit) polymer conjugate, which is an ideal material for the synthesis of safer gold nanoparticles (nAu). The synthesized products are characterized by various electron-based, optical and spectroscopic techniques including the catalytic activity and the stability/toxicity of nAu. In contrast to the conventional synthesis approaches, the use of PHB–chit results in generation of a highly stable and size-controlled nAu material that exhibits important catalytic activity towards the reduction of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) to 4-aminophenol, and at the same time shows no toxicity against living bacterial systems such as Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus aureus. The synthesis route reported herein would inspire future developments that circumvent toxicity issues of relevance to living systems while performing common catalytic experimentation.