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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2016, Article ID 9782625, 10 pages
Research Article

New Bismuth Germanate Oxide Nanoparticle Material for Biolabel Applications in Medicine

1Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Centro de Nanociencias y Nanotecnología, Km 107 Carretera Ensenada-Tijuana, 22800 Ensenada, BCN, Mexico
2Instituto de Biotecnología, UNAM, Avenida Universidad 2001, 62250 Cuernavaca, MOR, Mexico
3Departamento de Física, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, 49100-000 Sao Cristóvão, SE, Brazil
4Departamento de Química, Universidad de Guadalajara, Marcelino García Barragán 1421, 44430 Guadalajara, JAL, Mexico

Received 11 September 2015; Revised 10 December 2015; Accepted 31 December 2015

Academic Editor: Ilaria Armentano

Copyright © 2016 M. J. Oviedo 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.


Bismuth germanate (Bi4Ge3O12, BGO) has been the focus of several studies due to its scintillation properties. It has been employed as detector in scientific research and medicine, and herein we studied its possible biomedical applications. The photoluminescence properties of the uncoated and protein-coated nanoparticles were analyzed in different body fluids, at different pH. The nanoparticles yielded blueish-white luminescence with a maximum emission peak at 485 nm corresponding to the 3P11S0 electron transition of Bi3+. They showed luminescence properties at different pH values and in human fluids, such as urine and blood serum. Finally, the BGO nanoparticles were functionalized with the anti-HLA I W6/32 monoclonal antibody and the capacity of the antibody-loaded nanoparticles to recognize the cognate antigen (HLA I) of the W6/32 mAb was assessed on the human promyelocytic leukemia cell line THP-1. The possibility of functionalizing BGO nanoparticles with W6/32 antibodies and their specificity to identify THP-1 cells make them promising candidates for biomedical applications as biolabels.