Particular, a Hannover-based nanotech company in Germany has introduced laser-generated gold nanoparticle conjugates for biotechnology.
Nanoparticles made from gold are acquiring more importance in the field of biotechnology. These "gold nuggets" are less than 1/1,000,000th of an inch in diameter, which is around 10 nm.
Particular has employed laser ablation for producing high purity gold nanoparticles and conjugating them with biological molecules. Laser ablation is a physical process and not a chemical one. The process results in gold of high purity at a lower cost. The gold nanoparticle has high surface activity that allows efficient use of affinity between gold and biomolecules.
Gold nanoparticles have specific optical properties that enable detection and characterization. Gold, when used in small amounts, does not have any adverse effects on organisms. This property allows it to be transported to living tissue and cells. Many biotech labs mostly use toxic dyes, and gold particles are an interesting option.
Gold nanoparticles can be conjugated to cell-penetrating DNA, peptides and other similar functional molecules. Gold visualizes the functional molecules and acting like a universal linker also interconnects them. This feature will enable biologists to move specific substances through the membranes of cells and also link them to nucleic acids for detecting and defeating diseases.
The company is launching the new gold nanoparticle product series in September 2011. Particular is also offering gold conjugates with peptides, antibodies and oligonucleotides dispersed in water, and nanoparticle dispersions free from ligands from pure metals.