Synthesis of biocompatible gold nanoparticles having tunable optical absorbance finds immense use in biomedical applications such as cancer diagnosis and photothermal therapy. Hence, it is imperative to develop environment and bio-friendly green chemical processes that aid in preparing gold nanoparticles with tunable optical properties. In the present work, phytochemicals present in the medicinal herb, viz., garlic, were used to provide the dual effects of reduction of gold salts to gold nanoparticles as well as stabilization, in a single step process. The optical tunability of nanogold with respect to concentration of precursor and volume of garlic extract, processing conditions of garlic, its differing molecular weight fractions, reaction time and temperature has been demonstrated. The presence of a range of anisotropic nanogold including nanotriangles, nanorods and nanospheres as evident from TEM endows the colloid with a tunable optical absorption, specifically into the near infrared region. In vitro stability studies of the colloidal suspension in various media including saline, BSA, histidine and PBS showed that gold nanoparticles did not aggregate with time or differing pH conditions. The role of the garlic phytochemicals in providing stability against agglomeration was also substantiated by FTIR studies. Cytotoxicity studies performed using spherical and anisotropic gold nanoparticles on MCF-7 and L929 cell lines proved the biocompatibility of the material up to high doses of 500 μg/ml. The present work highlights the role of garlic phytochemicals in preparing biocompatible metallic gold nanoparticles with tunable optical properties and good in vitro stability, suggesting its potential use for molecular imaging or therapeutic nanomedicines. Copyright © 2012 American Scientific Publishers All rights reserved.
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D. Menon, Basanth, A., Retnakumari, A., Manzoor, K., and Nair, S. V., “Green synthesis of biocompatible gold nanocrystals with tunable surface plasmon resonance using garlic phytochemicals”, Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology, vol. 8, pp. 901-911, 2012.