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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2017, Article ID 9365012, 17 pages
Research Article

Morphology, Aggregation Properties, Cytocompatibility, and Anti-Inflammatory Potential of Citrate-Stabilized AuNPs Prepared by Modular Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis

1Institute of Materials Technology, University of Maribor, SI-2000 Maribor, Slovenia
2Zlatarna Celje d.d., SI-3000 Celje, Slovenia
3Institute for the Application of Nuclear Energy, University of Belgrade, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
4Indian Institute of Technology (ISM), Dhanbad, Jharkhand 826 004, India
5Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
6National Institute of Chemistry, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
7IME Institute, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
8Institute for Medical Research, Medical Faculty of the Military Medical Academy, University of Defense, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia

Correspondence should be addressed to Rebeka Rudolf;

Received 27 July 2016; Revised 3 November 2016; Accepted 6 November 2016; Published 2 January 2017

Academic Editor: Ilaria Fratoddi

Copyright © 2017 Rebeka Rudolf 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.


Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis (USP) possesses a great potential for production of higher quantities of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), thus overcoming the problem of batch-to-batch variations in their properties. Recently, we demonstrated that USP with an additional evaporation chamber (modular USP) led to a better size control of AuNPs. However, their morphology, stability, toxicity, and immunomodulatory properties have not been investigated completely. Here, two types of spherical AuNPs were produced by using different USP parameters, followed by their stabilization in Na-citrate solution. No significant changes in their size, agglomeration, and -potential occurred 3 months after their initial production in citrate solution. However, the conditioning of AuNPs in serum-containing cell culture media for 24 h induced an increase in the AuNPs’ hydrodynamic size and a red shift in their Surface Plasmon Resonance, pointing to their instability in biological media. Cytocompatibility tests showed that the produced AuNPs were internalized by L929 cells and primary human monocytes and were not cytotoxic at the concentrations lower than 200 μg/mL, but they exhibited antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory effects, respectively. AuNPs reduced the percentage of CD14+CD16+ but not CD14lowCD16+ monocytes in vitro and reduced the expression of CD86, HLA-DR, TNF-α, and IL-12/IL-23 by these cells. These results indicate that the anti-inflammatory effects of citrate-capped AuNPs produced by modular USP could be beneficial for their application in the treatment of inflammatory conditions.