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While the gold price keeps setting new records, nanoparticles from pure gold are also gaining importance in biotechnology. A new laser method conjugates such particles to biomolecules with high purity and efficiency.
Gold nanoparticles can be conjugated with biological molecules and have special optical properties that allow to detect and characterize them. While toxic dyes are still predominant in most biotech labs, gold is especially interesting when results shall be transferred to living cells and tissue, as small amounts of gold do not cause adverse effects in organisms.
The gold particles have a diameter in the range of 10 nm - less than a millionth of an inch. They 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.
In September 2011, Particular GmbH is launching gold nanoparticle conjugates that are, for the first time, generated by laser ablation from gold, which is not a chemical, but a physical process. It makes them unusually pure and, at the same time, cost-saving, while the particles' high surface activity helps to make use of the affinity between biomolecules and gold most efficiently.
This new product series was introduced with the launch of a new catalogue on September 15. Besides ligand-free nanoparticle dispersions from pure metals, Particular now offers gold conjugates with oligonucleotides, peptides, and antibodies, perfectly dispersed in several milliliters of water. With the functionality and yield of these conjugates, the company is utilizing "gold nuggets" to pave the way for new biotech applications.
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