Hannover, Germany--Particular GmbH, the first company to use laser ablation in liquids for the production of nanoparticles, is now providing gold nanoparticles that can be conjugated with biological molecules to create special optical properties for detection and characterization in a variety of biophotonic applications.
While toxic dyes are still predominant in most biotech labs, gold is especially useful for transfer to living cells and tissues since small amounts of gold do not cause adverse effects in organisms. The laser-generated gold nanoparticles have a diameter in the range of 10 nm--less than a millionth of an inch--and can be conjugated with functional molecules such as cell-penetrating peptides or DNA. Gold does not only visualize these molecules, but can also interconnect them as a universal linker. This will, for example, allow biologists to transport their substances through cell membranes and link them with nucleic acids, helping them to detect or defeat diseases.
This month, Particular GmbH is launching gold nanoparticle conjugates that are, for the first time to their knowledge, generated by laser ablation from gold, which is not a chemical, but a physical process. This low-cost, economical ablation process makes the nanoparticles unusually pure with high surface activity to improve the affinity between biomolecules and the gold nanoparticles.
Besides ligand-free nanoparticle dispersions from pure metals, Particular also manufactures gold conjugates with oligonucleotides, peptides, and antibodies, perfectly dispersed in several milliliters of water. With the functionality and yield of these conjugates, the company says it is utilizing these "gold nuggets" to pave the way for new biotech applications.
SOURCE: Particular GmbH; http://particular.eu/tl_files/particular/press/press_release_particular_2011-09_gold_conjugates.pdf