The effect of environmentally relevant conditions on PVP stabilised gold nanoparticles

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Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of South Carolina
  • Swansea University


Nanoparticles are a major product from the nanotechnology industry and have been shown to have a potentially large environmental exposure and hazard. In this study, sterically stabilised polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) 7. nm gold nanoparticles (NPs) were produced and characterised as prepared by surface plasmon resonance (SPR), size and aggregation, morphology and surface charge. Changes in these properties with changes in environmentally relevant conditions (pH, ionic strength, Ca concentration and fulvic acid presence) were quantified. These sterically stabilised NPs showed no aggregation with changes in pH or inorganic ions, even under high (0.1. M) Ca concentrations. In addition, the presence of fulvic acid resulted in no observable changes in SPR, size, aggregation or surface chemistry, suggesting limited interaction between the PVP stabilised nanoparticles and fulvic acid. Due to the lack of aggregation and interaction, these NPs are expected to be highly mobile and potentially bioavailable in the environment.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-416
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Early online date8 Sep 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Benzopyrans, Gold, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Metal Nanoparticles, Osmolar Concentration, Povidone, Surface Plasmon Resonance