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Singapore scientists synthesize gold to shed light on cells' inner workings
Date:4/16/2009

aqueous solution. We are able to use this protein to provide a scaffold for the formation of gold nanoclusters," explained Yuangang Zheng, Ph.D., IBN Senior Research Scientist.

The synthesis of the gold nanoclusters does not involve toxic chemicals or high temperatures. A single reaction with a protein is all that is required to produce scalable quantities of stable gold nanoclusters.

IBN's gold nanoclusters are stable in aqueous solution as well as in the solid form, which facilitates their storage and distribution. Besides the low cost of the required reagents, the preparation of the gold nanoclusters also adopts an environmentally friendly method that does not involve toxic chemicals or high temperatures. In addition, the simple synthesis technique can be scaled up easily for mass production.

"We are inspired by nature's ability to create elegant and functional materials. Our process is similar to biomineralization in nature that is found in the formation of bones and shells: where functional proteins mostly interact with sequestered inorganic ions to provide scaffolds for mineral formation," said IBN Principal Investigator and Executive Director Jackie Y. Ying, Ph.D. "There is a significant potential for our technology to impact biological and medical research, where our gold nanoclusters can significantly enhance the details available for precision bioimaging in medical diagnosis and treatment."


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Contact: Cathy Yarbrough
sciencematter@yahoo.com
858-243-1814
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Source:Eurekalert

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