Sensing of reactive oxygen species by self-aggregating gold nanoparticle assemblies

Zannatul Yasmin, Alexis Catala, Saher Maswadi, Kelly L. Nash, Randolph D. Glickman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Oxidative processes have critical functions in normal and pathological biology; however, sensing and measuring reactive oxygen species (ROS) is not straightforward and is often accomplished with techniques, such as fluorescent indicators, that are limited by auto-oxidation and nonspecificity. As an alternate approach, we developed gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) that undergo oxidation-induced self-assembly. Citrate-capped AuNPs were synthesized using standard methods. In the presence of a source of ROS and glutathione (GSH, a ubiquitous biological tripeptide), a ligand exchange process occurred on the AuNPs with substitution of GSH for the citrate. Subsequent hydrogen bonding between the GSH groups resulted in self-aggregation of the AuNPs, which was monitored by dynamic light scattering, spectrophotometry, and optoacoustic spectroscopy; the degree of aggregation was proportional to the magnitude of oxidative stress. The AuNP oxidation sensor detects ROS in cell-free and cell culture conditions, and shows promise for measuring oxidative stress in biological systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFabrication and Self-Assembly of Nanobiomaterials
Subtitle of host publicationApplications of Nanobiomaterials
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages31
ISBN (Print)9780323415330
StatePublished - Jan 6 2016


  • Biosensors
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • In situ sensing
  • Nano-bio interface
  • Oxidative stress
  • Photoacoustic spectroscopy
  • Protein corona
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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