Articles written in Bulletin of Materials Science
Volume 38 Issue 6 October 2015 pp 1665-1671
A simple protein-assisted method was reported to synthesize pepsin-conjugated Ag2S nanocrystals in aqueous solution. The morphology, composition and structure of the products were characterized by transmission electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, energy-dispersive spectroscopy, selected area electron diffraction and X-ray diffraction measurements. The results showed that as-prepared monoclinic Ag2S nanocrystals are worm-like nanochains in shape with sizes about 25 nm in diameter and up to hundreds of nanometres in length. The multiple coordinate bonds of pepsin molecules to the surface of Ag2S nanocrystals make as-prepared samples have good colloidal stability and biocompatibility as elucidated by Fourier transform infrared examination. Thermogravimetry–differential scanning calorimetry analysis indicated that the obtained products are inorganic–organic nanocomposites and there is strong interaction between Ag2S and pepsin. This interaction could result in the change of hydrophilic environment of pepsin and consequently intrinsic fluorescence of protein was quenched by Ag2S nanocrystals. Furthermore, the nanochains assembly of particle–particle and rod–rod oriented attachment was discussed to investigate the growth mechanism.
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