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A biocompatible synthesis of gold nanoparticles by Tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane

Feng Chen, Yanwei Wang, Jun Ma and Guangcan Yang*

Author Affiliations

School of Physics and Electronic Information Engineering, Wenzhou University, Wenzhou 325035, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:220  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-220

Published: 7 May 2014


Gold nanoparticles' novel properties are widely realized in catalysis, plasmonics, electronics, and biomedical applications. For biomedical application, one challenge is to find a non-toxic chemical and/or physical method of functionalizing gold nanoparticles with biomolecular compounds that can promote efficient binding, clearance, and biocompatibility and to assess their safety to other biological systems and their long-term effects on human health and reproduction. In the present study, we describe a new method by using Tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane (Tris), a widely used buffer solvent of nucleic acid and proteins, as the reducing agent for synthesizing gold nanoparticles by one step. It is found that Tris carries out the reduction reactions in relatively mild conditions for biomacromolecules. Particularly, it can be used to modify the DNA during the process of preparation of gold nanoparticles. The morphology and size distribution of gold nanoparticles are consistent and were confirmed by many different approaches including dynamic light scattering (DLS), UV-visible (UV-vis) spectrophotometry, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

Gold nanoparticle; Tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane; Biocompatible