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Dr. Antonios G. Kanaras and co-workers from the University of Southampton reported a new approach to create colloidal nanoparticles of remarkable stability resistant to pH changes, temperature, and ionic strength variations as well as ligand-exchange reactions.
"Our technology holds a great promise to solve the long-standing problem of nanoparticle stability and open-up new avenues in biomedical applications that employ nanoparticles" Kanaras says.
The article was published at the ACS Journal Langmuir (pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/la9044013)and describes a new type of ligand that can be used as a monomer to first coat the nanoparticles and then photo-polymerized upon UV-irradiation, embedding the particles in a stable organic shell. The ligand consists of an anchoring thiol group, which binds directly to the nanocrystal surface and two units, one hydrophobic and one hydrophilic. The hydrophobic alkyl unit contains a diacetylene group, which undergoes a 1,4-topochemical polymerization leading to a poly(enyne) structure during UV-irradiation. The hydrophilic unit contains an oligo-ethylene glycol chain, which ensures water solubility, and a terminal carboxylic group.
It is anticipated that the reported technology will be adopted to coat and other types of nanoparticles such as the famous 'quantum dots'.
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