Label Free Particle-by-Particle Quantification of DNA Loading on Sorted Gold Nanostars

Michael J. Eller, Kavita Chandra, Emma E. Coughlin, Teri W. Odom, Emile A. Schweikert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This paper describes a label free technique for determining ligand loading on metal nanoparticles using a variant of secondary ion mass spectrometry. Au 400 4+ clusters bombard DNA-functionalized anisotropic gold nanostars and isotropic nanospheres with similar surface areas to determine ligand density. For each projectile impact, co-localized molecules within the emission area of a single impact (diameter of 10-15 nm) were examined for each particle. Individual nanoparticle analysis allows for determination of the relationship between particle geometry and DNA loading. We found that branched particles exhibited increased ligand density versus nanospheres and determined that positive and neutral curvature could facilitate additional loading. This methodology can be applied to optimize loading for any ligand-core interaction independent of nanoparticle core, ligand, or attachment chemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5566-5572
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 7 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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