Whey peptide-encapsulated silver nanoparticles as a colorimetric and spectrophotometric probe for palladium(II)

Mikrochim Acta. 2019 Nov 11;186(12):763. doi: 10.1007/s00604-019-3877-8.


Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) coated with whey peptides are shown to be a useful optical nanoprobe for the highly sensitive determination of Pd(II). The peptidic surface of the AgNPs works as a molecular receptor for the rapid detection of Pd(II) via a color change from dark yellow to orange/red along with a spectral red-shift with a gap about 120 nm. The effect is caused by the formation of a coordination complex between Pd(II) and the peptide ligands. This results in the aggregation of AgNPs and an absorbance spectral shift from 410 to 530 nm. The absorbance response is linear in the range 0.1 to 1.3 μM Pd(II) with a low detection limit of 115 nM. The nanoprobe responds within a few minutes and is not interfered by other metal ions except for Mg(II). The probe potentially can be applied to the determination of Pd(II) contamination in the products of Pd(II)-catalyzed organic reactions and in pharmaceutical settings. Graphical abstractSchematic representation of the nanoprobe for Pd(II). (a) Synthesis of whey peptide-coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), (b) the nanoprobe design for Pd(II) detection, (c) HR-TEM imaging and elemental mapping, (d) quantitative determination of Pd(II) (Inset shows colorimetric results).

Keywords: Absorbance probe; Coordination chemistry; EDS; HR-TEM; Metal ions; Molecular receptor; Optical probe; Whey proteins; Whey waste.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colorimetry / methods*
  • Humans
  • Limit of Detection
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Palladium / analysis*
  • Palladium / urine
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry*
  • Rivers / chemistry
  • Silver / chemistry
  • Spectrophotometry / methods*
  • Wastewater / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis
  • Whey Proteins / chemistry*


  • Peptide Fragments
  • Waste Water
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Whey Proteins
  • Silver
  • Palladium