Evidence for patchy lipid layers on gold nanoparticle surfaces

Jie An Yang, Catherine J. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gold nanoparticles bearing multiple surface ligands are becoming favored candidates as multifunctional targeting, imaging, and therapeutic vehicles for biomedicine. The question of spatial location of different ligands on nanoparticle surfaces, especially with those of diameters less than 100 nm, is an important one that is difficult to quantitatively address. Here we functionalize the surface of 20, 50, and 90 nm gold nanoparticles with two different lipids, both single and mixed, using two different surface chemical procedures. Mass spectrometry supports the presence of both lipids in the mixed-lipid systems on nanoparticles, while electron microscopy evidence shows domain sizes for one lipid apparently a quarter to a half the projected diameter for 50 and 90 nm particles; but for 20 nm particles, there is no evidence for the existence of patches of the two lipids. Larger gold nanoparticles (90 nm) can be decorated with an array of 12 nm gold nanoparticles by use of a third lipid and antibody-antigen connectors; the display of the 12 nm particles about the 90 nm particles can be controlled to some extent by the initial surface chemistry and is quantified via a new angle analysis procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5404-5416
Number of pages13
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 27 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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