Experimental and theoretical study of biodirected green synthesis of gold nanoflowers

A. Jakhmola, R. Vecchione*, F. Gentile, M. Profeta, A. C. Manikas, E. Battista, M. Celentano, V. Onesto, P. A. Netti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We report a very simple, green, and eco-friendly route to synthesize three-dimensional branched gold nanoflowers (AuNFs). The process involved reduction of gold salt in presence of two naturally occurring small biomolecules viz. L-tyrosine and sodium citrate which act as mild reducing and shape-directing agent. A detailed picture of the formation mechanism of AuNFs has been proposed after thorough experimental analysis (electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy [XPS], circular dichroism [CD], UV-vis spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering [DLS] and nanoparticle tracking analysis [NTA]) as well as by theoretical simulations (cellular automata and diffusion-limited aggregation [DLA] simulations). Experimental analysis and numerical simulation pointed out that L-tyrosine molecules self-assemble in a complex way which controls the flower-like shape and structure, whereas trisodium citrate plays a crucial role in controlling the particle diameter. A second shape (quasi-spherical) could also be obtained with same formulation by just changing the sequence of addition of reactants. As such the effect of the shape on surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy [SERS] enhancement has also been evaluated. Finally, in vitro studies were performed on a model cell line of mouse brain endothelium (bEnd.3) to assess biocompatibility.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100203
Number of pages13
JournalMaterials Today Chemistry
Early online date14 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Gold nanoparticles
  • L-tyrosine
  • Self-assembly
  • Trisodium citrate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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