Recently, the group of researchers composed by Yi Wang, Li Qiang Chen, Yuan Fang Li, Xi Juan Zhao, Li Peng and Cheng Zhi Huang at Southwest University, China, have reported a simple, controllable and environmentally friendly strategy for biomimetic synthesis and self-assembly of gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) in one step. The method uses a kind of polysaccharide derivate as both a reducing agent and a stabilizer. The as-prepared one-dimensional Au-NP assemblies have attractive features, including plasmon resonant coupling and excellent biocompatibility, making them great precursors of future optical nanodevices and promising candidates for biological applications.
The research group is dedicated to developing effective and universal strategies to fabricate various nanoparticle assemblies using biomolecules such as DNA and polysaccharides. The molecules are employed as bridges to assemble gold nanospheres, gold nanorods, metal nanoparticle/carbon nanotube hybrids and metal nanoparticle/graphene composites. A polysaccharide derivate, polyaldehyde dextran, was used to synthesize and assemble Au-NPs in one step. The Au-NP chains or networks were formed with satisfactory morphology and the size of individual nanoparticles was uniform. The crystal growth and self-assembly processes occurred synchronously in one pot and always under a mild condition (aqueous environment, physiological temperature and neutral pH).
By using biomolecules to fabricate nanostructures, the team aims at generating biomaterials with good stability in aqueous solutions and excellent biocompatibility for optical tracking and drug delivery in vivo.
Further details can be found in: Yi Wang et al 2010 Nanotechnology 21 305601