The unique physicochemical properties and biocompatibility of zinc oxide nanocrystals (ZnO NCs) are strongly dependent on the nanocrystal/ligand interface, which is largely determined by synthetic procedures. Stable ZnO NCs coated with a densely packed shell of 2‐(2‐methoxyethoxy)acetate ligands, which act as miniPEG prototypes, with average core size and hydrodynamic diameter of 4–5 and about 12 nm, respectively, were prepared by an organometallic self‐supporting approach, fully characterized, and used as a model system for biological studies. The ZnO NCs from the one‐pot, self‐supporting organometallic procedure exhibit unique physicochemical properties such as relatively high quantum yield (up to 28 %), ultralong photoluminescence decay (up to 2.1 μs), and EPR silence under standard conditions. The cytotoxicity of the resulting ZnO NCs toward normal (MRC‐5) and cancer (A549) human lung cell lines was tested by MTT assay, which demonstrated that these brightly luminescent, quantum‐sized ZnO NCs have a low negative impact on mammalian cell lines. These results substantiate that the self‐supporting organometallic approach is a highly promising method to obtain high‐quality, nontoxic, ligand‐coated ZnO NCs with prospective biomedical applications.
Chemistry - A European Journal – Wiley
Published: Jan 15, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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