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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2008 (2008), Article ID 712514, 9 pages
Research Article

On the Complexity of Electrostatic Suspension Stabilization of Functionalized Silica Nanoparticles for Biotargeting and Imaging Applications

1Center for Functional Materials, Department of Physical Chemistry, Abo Akademi University, Porthansgatan 3-5, FIN-20500 Turku, Finland
2Department of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry, University of Turku, FIN-20014 Turku, Finland

Received 17 October 2007; Accepted 11 January 2008

Academic Editor: Donglu Shi

Copyright © 2008 Lotta Bergman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Different means of attaching streptavidin to surface functionalized silica particles with a diameter of 240 nm were investigated with special focus on suspension stability for electrostatically stabilized suspensions. The influence of two different fluorescent dyes covalently linked to the streptavidin on suspension stability was also studied. The results clearly show that the stability of the suspensions is crucially dependent on all functional groups present on the surface. The surface functions may either directly affect the effective surface charge if the functions contain charged groups, or indirectly by affecting the relative concentration of charged groups on the particle surface. Poly(ethylene imine)-functionalized silica particles, where the polymer is grown by surface hyperbranching polymerization, are shown to be promising candidates for bioapplications, as the zeta-potential can remain strongly positive even under biologically relevant conditions.