Science China Chemistry

, Volume 62, Issue 2, pp 280–286 | Cite as

Using selenium-conjugated polyethylene glycol to enhance the stability of gold nanoparticles in biologically relevant samples

  • Yang Xue
  • Bo Dong
  • Xuehui Liu
  • Fengchao Wang
  • Jie YangEmail author
  • Dingbin LiuEmail author


Using stabilizing agents to maintain the physicochemical properties of colloids in complex environments is crucial for their realworld applications. In this article, we describe how selenium- (Se-) terminated polyethylene glycol (PEG) can serve as a highaffinity stabilizing agent for gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). Compared to AuNPs modified with standard thiolated PEG (S-PEG), Se-PEG-coated AuNPs are much more stable under extreme conditions such as high/low pH, high salt content, and high temperatures. We demonstrate that the Se anchor can prevent the dissociation of PEG ligands from AuNP surfaces in living cells, where a higher concentration of biothiols is usually present. These results indicate that Se-PEG is an excellent stabilizing agent that may facilitate further studies on metal NPs for various complex and physiological systems.


selenium polyethylene glycol gold nanoparticles biological stability 


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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21475066, 21775075), the Fundamental Research Funds for Central Universities (China), and the Thousand Youth Talents Plan of China.

Supplementary material

11426_2018_9374_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1002 kb)
Using Selenium-Conjugated Polyethylene Glycol to Dramatically Enhance the Stability of Gold Nanoparticles in Biologically Relevant Samples


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Medicinal Chemical Biology, Research Center for Analytical Sciences, and Tianjin Key Laboratory of Molecular Recognition and Biosensing, College of ChemistryNankai UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering (Tianjin)TianjinChina

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