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Nanoparticles -- Optical properties, Nanostructured materials, Molecular recognition


The sensitive optoelectronic properties of metal nanoparticles make nanoparticle-based materials a powerful tool to study fundamental biorecognition processes. Here we present a new and versatile method for coupling underivatized carbohydrates to gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) via the photochemically induced reaction of perfluorophenylazide (PFPA). A one-pot procedure was developed where Au NPs were synthesized and functionalized with PFPA by a ligand-exchange reaction. Carbohydrates were subsequently immobilized on the NPs by a fast light activation. The coupling reaction was efficient, resulting in high coupling yield as well as high ligand surface coverage. A colorimetric system based on the carbohydrate-modified Au NPs was used for the sensitive detection of carbohydrate-protein interactions. Binding and cross-reactivity studies were carried out between carbohydrate-functionalized Au NPs and lectins. Results showed that the surfacebound carbohydrates not only retained their binding affinities towards the corresponding lectin, but also exhibited affinity ranking consistent with that of the free ligands in solution.


This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Materials Chemistry. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Materials Chemistry, Volume 19, 8944-8949 at:



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