Gold-coated magnetic polymer microsphere synthesis and characterization: applications in biological contexts
Gold-coated magnetic polymer microspheres (AuMPMs) are multi-component particles readily functionalized via gold-thiol chemistry, and can be strategically manipulated by a magnetic field. The research probes the uniformity, dispersity, stability, and conditions necessary for gold coating using a seed and growth method and functionalization of AuMPMs with thiolated ligands. The ligands, 6-amino-1-hexanethiol hydrochloride, 6-mercaptohexanoic acid, and 6-mercapto-1-hexanol, were utilized to impart a positive, negative, and neutral charge, respectively, to the surface of the AuMPM. Functionalized AuMPMs, were applied to a chamber and valve purification system to determine the effects of charged surfaces on the ability to overcome electrostatic interactions at the surface of the liquid-air and liquid-mineral oil interfaces of the chambers and valves. A platform technology is being developed that can easily coordinate and bind different ligands and can be utilized in a variety of biological, environmental, and analytical contexts.