Optical properties and biological applications of fluorescent gold nanoclusters

  • Han Zhou

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


As a novel fluorescent nanomaterial, fluorescent gold nanoclusters (AuNCs) possess numerous exceptional characteristics compared with other luminescent materials such as good water-solubility, high photostability, large Stokes shift, ultrasmall size, nontoxicity, and good biocompatibility. Despite promising applications and intensive interests, the study of the fluorescence mechanism of AuNCs has so far been limited. In order to investigate the factors that determine the fluorescence properties of Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) encapsulated AuNCs (BSA-AuNCs), the influence of pH during nanocluster growth on the fluorescence properties of AuNCs has been studied. Both fluorescence emission and lifetime were found to be affected by synthetic pH, and such an effect could not be reversed even if the pH changed after the synthesis. Biological applications of AuNCs have also been studied in order to explore the potential application in biosensing and bioimaging. Fluorescence anisotropy spectroscopic study confirmed the bio-chemical activities of BSA in BSA-AuNCs, demonstrating a new possibility of using BSA-AuNCs as fluorescence probe. And the bioimaging study of BSA-AuNC in intestine sections of a mouse that was fed by oral gavages opens a new way for using AuNCs on pharmaceutical and biological studies.
Date of Award7 Jan 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorYu Chen (Supervisor) & David Birch (Supervisor)

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