APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Detection of toxic lanthanide and actinides in environmental and waste samples
- Detection and quantification of f-block elements used as contrast agents in biomedicine
- High affinity and specificity with f-block elements
- Single step method
- The only synthetic protocol to obtain gold nanoparticles functionalized with high preforming 3,4,3-LI(1,2-HOPO)
Researchers at Berkeley Laboratory invented for the first time a protocol to synthesize monodisperse gold nanoparticles displaying bio-inspired chelators, such as 3,4,3-LI(1,2-HOPO), on the particle surface in a single step. Gold nanoparticles functionalized with chelators have the potential to be very valuable in biomedicine and sensing. Specifically, the bio-inspired chelator has high affinity for f-block elements and is non-cytotoxic at medical dosages. This single step method entails mixing equimolar amounts of 3,4,3-LI(1,2-HOPO) and chloroauric acid (HAuCl4), and then hydrogen chloride (HCl) to regulate the pH in order to secure the gold nanoparticles. Because the gold nanoparticles display the chelator, they will selectively bind to lanthanides and actinides, making the f-block elements easily detectable with spectrometry or even with the naked eye.
Traditional methods that produce gold nanoparticles use more complicated processes. Additionally, these methods use less specific chelators resulting in lower binding affinity to f-block elements. This new method is the first to acquire gold nanoparticles functionalized with 3,4,3-LI(1,2-HOPO), which could significantly benefit companies and consumers working in the field of analytical chemistry, including the detection of environmental or waste samples, and biomedicine, such as in the detection of contrast agents used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: The synthesis and the sensing application has been demonstrated to work in vitro.
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.