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Concentration Dependent Effects of Bovine Serum Albumin on Graphene Oxide Colloidal Stability in Aquatic Environment

Sun, Binbin, Zhang, Yinqing, Chen, Wei, Wang, Kunkun, Zhu, Lingyan
Environmental science & technology 2018 v.52 no.13 pp. 7212-7219
aquatic environment, bovine serum albumin, calcium chloride, coagulation, electrolytes, environmental science, graphene oxide, light scattering, lysine, magnesium chloride, models, pH, sodium chloride
The impacts of a model globular protein (bovine serum albumin, BSA) on aggregation kinetics of graphene oxide (GO) in aquatic environment were investigated through time-resolved dynamic light scattering at pH 5.5. Aggregation kinetics of GO without BSA as a function of electrolyte concentrations (NaCl, MgCl₂, and CaCl₂) followed the traditional Derjaguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek (DLVO) theory, and the critical coagulation concentration (CCC) was 190, 5.41, and 1.61 mM, respectively. As BSA was present, it affected the GO stability in a concentration dependent manner. At fixed electrolyte concentrations below the CCC values, for example 120 mM NaCl, the attachment efficiency of GO increased from 0.08 to 1, then decreased gradually and finally reached up to zero as BSA concentration increased from 0 to 66.5 mg C/L. The low-concentration BSA depressed GO stability mainly due to electrostatic binding between the positively charged lysine groups of BSA and negatively charged groups of GO, as well as double layer compression effect. With the increase of BSA concentration, more and more BSA molecules were adsorbed on GO, leading to strong steric repulsion which finally predominated and stabilized the GO. These results provided significant information about the concentration dependent effects of natural organic matters on GO stability under environmentally relevant conditions.