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Biomimetic one-pot synthesis of gold nanoclusters/nanoparticles for targeted tumor cellular dual-modality imaging

Jing Lin1, Zhijun Zhou1, Zhiming Li2, Chunlei Zhang1, Xiansong Wang1, Kan Wang1, Guo Gao1, Peng Huang1 and Daxiang Cui1*

Author affiliations

1 Key Laboratory for Thin Film and Microfabrication of Ministry of Education, Institute of Micro-Nano Science and Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, People’s Republic of China

2 Institute of Dermatology and Department of Dermatology at No. 1 Hospital, Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou 325000, People’s Republic of China

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:170  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-170

Published: 15 April 2013


Biomimetic synthesis has become a promising green pathway to prepare nanomaterials. In this study, bovine serum albumin (BSA)-conjugated gold nanoclusters/nanoparticles were successfully synthesized in water at room temperature by a protein-directed, solution-phase, green synthetic method. The synthesized BSA-Au nanocomplexes have fluorescence emission (588 nm) of gold nanoclusters and surface plasmon resonance of gold nanoparticles. The BSA-Au nanocomplexes display non-cytotoxicity and excellent biocompatibility on MGC803 gastric cancer cells. After conjugation of folic acid molecules, the obtained BSA-Au nanocomplexes showed highly selective targeting for MGC803 cells and dual-modality dark-field and fluorescence imaging.

Bovine serum albumin; Gold nanocluster; Gold nanoparticle; Folic acid; Cellular imaging