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Micron. 2011 Apr;42(3):207-27. doi: 10.1016/j.micron.2010.09.008. Epub 2010 Oct 1.

Controlled synthesis and biomolecular probe application of gold nanoparticles.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Kangwon-Do 200-701, Republic of Korea.


In addition to their optical properties, the ability of gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) to generate table immobilization of biomolecules, whilst retaining their bioactivities is a major advantage to apply them as biosensors. Optical biosensors using Au NPs are simple, fast and reliable and, recently, they have been moving from laboratory study to the point of practical use. The optical properties of Au NPs strongly depend on their size, shape, degree of aggregation and the functional groups on their surface. Rapid advances in the field of nanotechnology offer us a great opportunity to develop the controllable synthesis and modification of Au NPs as well as to study on their properties and applications. The size-controlled growth of Au NPs requires the isotropic growth on the surface of Au nuclei whereas anisotropic growth will induce the formation of Au NPs of varying shape. Functionalized Au NPs provide sensitive and selective biosensors for the detection of many targets, including metal ions, small organic compounds, protein, DNA, RNA and cell based on their optical, electrical or electrochemical signals. In this review, we will discuss the size- and shape-controlled growth and functionalization of Au NPs to obtain Au nanoprobes. The basis of the optical detection of Au nanoprobes and their applications in nucleic acid, protein detection and cell imaging are also introduced.

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