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Surface Passivation Improves the Synthesis of Highly Stable and Specific DNA-Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles with Variable DNA Density

Deka, Jashmini, Měch, Rostislav, Ianeselli, Luca, Amenitsch, Heinz, Cacho-Nerin, Fernando, Parisse, Pietro, Casalis, Loredana
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015 v.7 no.12 pp. 7033-7040
X-radiation, ethylene glycol, fluorescence, gel electrophoresis, nanogold, nucleic acid hybridization, nucleotide sequences, oligonucleotides, pH, scanning electron microscopy, single-stranded DNA, spectroscopy
We report a novel and multifaceted approach for the quick synthesis of highly stable single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) functionalized gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). The method is based on the combined effect of surface passivation by (1-mercaptoundec-11-yl)hexa(ethylene glycol) and low pH conditions, does not require any salt pretreatment or high excess of ssDNA, and can be generalized for oligonucleotides of any length or base sequence. The synthesized ssDNA-coated AuNPs conjugates are stable at salt concentrations as high as 3.0 M, and also functional and specific toward DNA–DNA hybridization, as shown from UV–vis spectrophotometry, scanning electron microscopy, gel electrophoresis, fluorescence, and small angle X-ray scattering based analyses. The method is highly flexible and shows an additional advantage of creating ssDNA-AuNP conjugates with a predefined number of ssDNA strands per particle. Its simplicity and tenability make it widely applicable to diverse biosensing applications involving ssDNA functionalized AuNPs.