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Biomimetic Synthesis of Gelatin Polypeptide-Assisted Noble-Metal Nanoparticles and Their Interaction Study

Ying Liu12, Xiaoheng Liu1* and Xin Wang1*

Author affiliations

1 Key Laboratory for Soft Chemistry and Functional Materials (Nanjing University of Science and Technology), Ministry of Education, 210094, Nanjing, China

2 The School of Chemistry and the School of Materials, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Res Lett 2011, 6:22  doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9756-1

Published: 2 September 2010


Herein, the generation of gold, silver, and silver–gold (Ag–Au) bimetallic nanoparticles was carried out in collagen (gelatin) solution. It first showed that the major ingredient in gelatin polypeptide, glutamic acid, acted as reducing agent to biomimetically synthesize noble metal nanoparticles at 80°C. The size of nanoparticles can be controlled not only by the mass ratio of gelatin to gold ion but also by pH of gelatin solution. Interaction between noble-metal nanoparticles and polypeptide has been investigated by TEM, UV–visible, fluorescence spectroscopy, and HNMR. This study testified that the degradation of gelatin protein could not alter the morphology of nanoparticles, but it made nanoparticles aggregated clusters array (opposing three-dimensional α-helix folding structure) into isolated nanoparticles stabilized by gelatin residues. This is a promising merit of gelatin to apply in the synthesis of nanoparticles. Therefore, gelatin protein is an excellent template for biomimetic synthesis of noble metal/bimetallic nanoparticle growth to form nanometer-sized device.

Gelatin; Interaction; Gold nanoparticles; Silver nanoparticles; Bimetallic nanoparticles