In a recent publication in the prestigious Journal of the Americam Chemical
Society (JACS) Arturo Lopez Quintela and co-workers have demonstrated that Silver
atomic quantum clusters (AgAQCs), with two or three silver atoms, supplied by
Nanogap, show electrocatalytic
activities that are not found in nanoparticles or in bulk silver.
AgAQCs supported on glassy carbon electrodes oxidize ethanol and other alcohols
in macroscopic electrochemical cells in acidic and basic media. This electrocatalysis
occurs at very low potentials (from ~ +200 mV vs RHE), at physiological pH,
and at ethanol concentrations that are found in alcoholic patients. When mammalian
cells are co-exposed to ethanol and AgAQCs, alcohol-induced alterations such
as rounded cell morphology, disorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, and activation
of caspase-3 are all prevented.
Overall, the findings not only show that AgAQCs are efficient electrocatalysts
at physiological pH and prevent ethanol toxicity in cultured mammalian cells,
but also suggest that AgAQCs could be used to modify redox reactions and in
this way promote or inhibit biological reactions. The full publication can be
here to read the article.