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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2014 Feb 12;6(3):2185-91. doi: 10.1021/am405345h. Epub 2014 Jan 29.

Purine-stabilized green fluorescent gold nanoclusters for cell nuclei imaging applications.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, ‡Department of Chemical Engineering, Material Science Programme, and §DST Thematic Unit of Excellence on Soft Nanofabrication, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur , Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh 208016, India.


We report facile one-pot synthesis of water-soluble green fluorescent gold nanoclusters (AuNCs), capped with 8-mercapto-9-propyladenine. The synthesized AuNCs were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), (1)H NMR, and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. These nanoclusters show high photostability and biocompatibility. We observed that AuNCs stain cell nuclei with high specificity, where the mechanism of AuNC uptake was established through pathway-specific uptake inhibitors. These studies revealed that cell internalization of AuNCs occurs via a macropinocytosis pathway.

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