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