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Earthworm extracts utilized in the green synthesis of gold nanoparticles capable of reinforcing the anticoagulant activities of heparin

Hee Kyeong Kim1, Myung-Jin Choi2, Song-Hyun Cha2, Yean Kyoung Koo3, Sang Hui Jun1, Seonho Cho2 and Youmie Park12*

Author Affiliations

1 College of Pharmacy, Inje University, 607 Obang-dong, Gimhae, Gyeongnam 621-749, Republic of Korea

2 National Creative Research Initiatives (NCRI) Center for Isogeometric Optimal Design, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-744, Republic of Korea

3 College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, Republic of Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:542  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-542

Published: 26 December 2013


Gold nanoparticles were obtained using a green synthesis approach with aqueous earthworm extracts without any additional reducing or capping agents. The gold nanoparticles were characterized using UV-visible spectrophotometry, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The anticoagulant activity of the gold nanoparticles was assessed using the activated partial thromboplastin time and was mildly enhanced by combining the gold nanoparticles with heparin. In addition to the generation of spherical nanoparticles with an average diameter of 6.13 ± 2.13 nm, cubic and block-shaped nanoparticles with an average aspect ratio, defined as the length divided by width, of 1.47 were also observed.

Green synthesis; Earthworm extracts; Invertebrate natural products; Gold nanoparticles; Anticoagulant activity