Aggregation and adhesion of gold nanoparticles in phosphate buffered saline

Shangfeng Du, K Kendall, P Toloueinia, Y Mehrabadi, Gaurav Gupta, Jill Newton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)


In applications in medicine and more specifically drug delivery, the dispersion stability of nanoparticles plays a significant role on their final performances. In this study, with the use of two laser technologies, dynamic light scattering (DLS) and nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA), we report a simple method to estimate the stability of nanoparticles dispersed in phosphate buffered saline (PBS). Stability has two features: (1) self-aggregation as the particles tend to stick to each other; (2) disappearance of particles as they adhere to surrounding substrate surfaces such as glass, metal, or polymer. By investigating the effects of sonication treatment and surface modification by five types of surfactants, including nonylphenol ethoxylate (NP9), polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP), human serum albumin (HSA), sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and citrate ions on the dispersion stability, the varying self-aggregation and adhesion of gold nanoparticles dispersed in PBS are demonstrated. The results showed that PVP effectively prevented aggregation, while HSA exhibited the best performance in avoiding the adhesion of gold nanoparticle in PBS onto glass and metal. The simple principle of this method makes it a high potential to be applied to other nanoparticles, including virus particles, used in dispersing and processing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


  • Nanomedicine
  • Dynamic light scattering
  • Nanoparticle tracking analysis
  • Aggregation
  • Nanoparticles
  • Adhesion


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