Gold Tablets: Gold Nanoparticles Encapsulated into Dextran Tablets and Their pH-Responsive Behavior as an Easy-to-Use Platform for Multipurpose Applications

ACS Omega. 2022 Mar 22;7(13):11177-11189. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.1c07393. eCollection 2022 Apr 5.


Many applications using gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) require (i) their functionalization with a biopolymer to increase their stability and (ii) their transformation into an easy-to-handle material, which provide them with specific properties. In this research, a portable tablet platform is presented based on dextran-encapsulated gold nanoparticles (AuNPs-dTab) by a ligand exchange reaction between citrate-capped gold nanoparticles (AuNPs-Cit) and dextran. These newly fabricated tablets were characterized utilizing ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-vis), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy-attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), X-ray diffraction spectroscopy (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques. The results showed that dextran-capped gold nanoparticles in a tablet platform (AuNPs-dTab) were well-dispersed and highly stable for at least a year at room temperature. In addition to particle and surface characterization of AuNPs-dTab, the tablet morphology in terms of thickness, diameter, density, and opacity was also measured using 6 and 10% dextran with 2, 4 and 8 nM AuNPs-Cit. We further investigated the pH-responsive behavior of AuNPs-dTab in the presence and absence of sodium chloride. Results showed that neutral and alkaline environments were suitable to render AuNPs dispersed in a tablet, while an acidic condition controls the aggregation rate of AuNPs as confirmed by concentration-dependent aggregation phenomena. Besides the easy fabrication, these tablets were portable and low-cost (approx. 1.22 CAD per 100 tablets of a 100 μL solution of dextran-capped gold nanoparticles (AuNPs-dSol)). The biocompatible nature of dextran along with the acidic medium trigger nature of AuNPs makes our proposed tablet a potential candidate for cancer therapy due to the acidic surrounding of tumor tissues as compared to normal cells. Also, our proposed tablet approach paves the way for the fabrication of portable and easy-to-use optical sensors based on the AuNPs embedded in a natural polymeric architecture that would serve as a colorimetric recognition indicator for detecting analytes of interest.

PMID:35415343 | PMC:PMC8991920 | DOI:10.1021/acsomega.1c07393


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