Silver nanoparticles are finding increasing applications in biological systems, for example as antimicrobial agents and potential candidates for control drug release systems. In all such applications, silver nanoparticles interact with proteins and other biomolecules. Hence, the study of such interactions is of considerable importance. While BSA has been extensively used as a model protein for the study of interaction with the silver nanoparticles, studies using other proteins are rather limited. The interaction of silver nanoparticles with light leads to collective oscillation of the conducting electrons giving rise to surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Here, we have studied the protein concentration dependence of the SPR band profiles for a number of proteins. We found that for all the proteins, with increase in concentration, the SPR band intensity initially decreased, reaching minima and then increased again leading to a characteristic "dip and rise" pattern. Minimum point of the pattern appeared to be related to the isoelectric point of the proteins. Detailed dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy studies revealed that the consistency of SPR profile was dependent on the average particle size and state of association of the silver nanoparticles with the change in the protein concentration. Fluorescence spectroscopic studies showed the binding constants of the proteins with the silver nanoparticles were in the nano molar range with more than one nanoparticle binding to protein molecule. Structural studies demonstrate that protein retains its native-like structure on the nanoparticle surface unless the molar ratio of silver nanoparticles to protein exceeds 10. Our study reveals that nature of the protein concentration dependent profile of SPR signal is a general phenomena and mostly independent of the size and structure of the proteins.
- Dip and rise profile of SPR signal
- Protein secondary structure at nanoparticle surface
- Protein-silver nanoparticle interaction
- SPR profile
- Silver nanoparticles