Catechol redox induced formation of metal core-polymer shell nanoparticles

Kvar C.L. Black, Zhongqiang Liu, Phillip B. Messersmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


A novel strategy was developed to synthesize polymer-coated metal nanoparticles (NPs) through reduction of metal cations with 3,4- dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA)-containing poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) polymers. Catechol redox chemistry was used to both synthesize metal NPs and simultaneously form a cross-linked shell of PEG polymers on their surfaces. DOPA reduced gold and silver cations into neutral metal atoms, producing reactive quinones that covalently cross-linked the PEG molecules around the surface of the NP. Importantly, these PEG-functionalized metal NPs were stable in physiological ionic strengths and under centrifugation and hold broad appeal since they absorb and scatter light in aqueous solutions.(Figure Presented)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1130-1135
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 8 2011


  • Plasmon
  • catechol
  • cross-link
  • gold
  • nanoparticle
  • quinine
  • silver


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