Lipid-Coated Gold Nanoparticles as Probes for Membrane Binding

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Springer Protocols Handbooks

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A synthetic protocol is described for preparing lipid-coated gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) of varying shape, size, and membrane composition. Using ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis), the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) of the AuNPs is used to examine nanoparticle stability. Highly spherical AuNPs are obtained by selectively etching octahedral nanoparticles with cyanide. Alkanethiols are used to anchor the membranes to the gold surface, creating hybrid lipid membranes. Cyanide etch studies are described that test membrane stability and coverage and are performed by monitoring changes to the LSPR. A strategy is provided for minimizing the amounts of excess lipids and thiols present while using minimal purification steps. The design strategy can be used to produce a library of stable, hybrid lipid-coated AuNPs for applications including drug delivery, imaging, and sensing. Methods for using these AuNPs to study protein-membrane interactions using UV-Vis spectroscopy and dynamic light-scattering (DLS) measurements are also described.


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