Gold Bulletin

, Volume 52, Issue 3–4, pp 197–216 | Cite as

Nitrate Reductase mediated synthesis of surface passivated nanogold as broad-spectrum antibacterial agent

  • Sneha SinghEmail author
  • Abhimanyu Dev
  • Archita Gupta
  • Vinod Kumar Nigam
  • Krishna Mohan Poluri
Original Paper


The green synthesis of gold nanoparticles has attracted tremendous interest owing to their unique physicochemical properties and widespread applications which are primarily size-dependent. The stability, less reaction time, and use of biological resources as novel nanofactories as an alternative to conventional synthesis strategies are the main objectives of green synthesis approaches. However, to attain size-controlled synthesis from the biogenic route is still a challenge. Hence, use of nontoxic stabilizers becomes increasingly essential. Herein, we describe an emerging, simple, nonconventional approach to synthesize stable and size-controlled biogenic nanogold using cell lysate supernatant containing nitrate reductase of Bacillus licheniformis in the presence of Tween 20 and dodecanethiol respectively. The face-centered central composite design used for the optimization of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) biosynthesis. The maximum AuNPs biosynthesis obtained using the optimized media variables, glucose (2.1 g/L), peptone (14.05 g/L), yeast extract (4.14 g/L), and potassium nitrate (3.91 g/L) was 0.769 a.u. Highly stable monodispersed nanogold of 10.4 ± 0.6 nm and 12.5 ± 0.9 nm sizes arranged in ordered self-assembly was obtained. The stability profile and kinetics of bioreduction was evaluated with respect to time, and the involvement of the nitrate reductase enzyme in bioreduction was validated by inhibitor study. The physicochemical properties of biogenic nanoparticles were characterized using multiple spectroscopy and microscopy techniques. The obtained nanogold demonstrated excellent bactericidal property against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria in size-dependent manner and thus could find tremendous utility in clinical, biological, and environmental applications as a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent.


Nanogold Nitrate reductase Stabilizer Biogenic Antibacterial 



The authors thankfully acknowledge the technical assistance provided by Central Instrumentation Facility, Birla Institute of Technology Mesra, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India.

Funding information

Financial support was received from the University Grants Commission {F.No. 41-1336/2012(SR)} to carry out this research

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Bio-EngineeringBirla Institute of TechnologyRanchiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences & TechnologyBirla Institute of TechnologyRanchiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Biotechnology and Centre for NanotechnologyIndian Institute of TechnologyRoorkeeIndia

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