Gold Nanoparticles Mediate Improved Detection of β-amyloid Aggregates by Fluorescence

Nanomaterials (Basel). 2020 Apr 6;10(4):690. doi: 10.3390/nano10040690.


The early detection of the amyloid beta peptide aggregates involved in Alzheimer's disease is crucial to test new potential treatments. In this research, we improved the detection of amyloid beta peptide aggregates in vitro and ex vivo by fluorescence combining the use of CRANAD-2 and gold nanorods (GNRs) by the surface enhancement fluorescence effect. We synthetized GNRs and modified their surface with HS-PEG-OMe and HS-PEG-COOH and functionalized them with the D1 peptide, which has the capability to selectively bind to amyloid beta peptide. For an in vitro detection of amyloid beta peptide, we co-incubated amyloid beta peptide aggregates with the probe CRANAD-2 and GNR-PEG-D1 observing an increase in the intensity of the fluorescence signal attributed to surface enhancement fluorescence. Furthermore, the surface enhancement fluorescence effect was observed in brain slices of transgenic mice with Alzheimer´s disease co-incubated with CRANAD-2 and GNR-PEG-D1. An increase in the fluorescence signal was observed allowing the detection of aggregates that cannot be detected with the single use of CRANAD-2. Gold nanoparticles allowed an improvement in the detection of the amyloid aggregated by fluorescence in vitro and ex vivo.

Keywords: Alzheimer´s disease; CRANAD-2; SEF; amyloid beta peptide; gold nanorods.