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NANO2021-Nanoteknologi og nye materiale

High-throughput Synthesis of Non-spherical Plasmonic Nanoparticles (NPs) for Applications in Endotoxin Sensing (Nano-Syn-Sens)

Alternative title: Syntetese av høy gjennomstrømning av ikke-sfæriske plasmoniske nanopartikler (NP) for applikasjoner i endotoksinsensering (Nano-Syn-Sens)

Awarded: NOK 4.9 mill.

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Project Period:

2020 - 2024

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Administrative corner: As the project entered into its third year, the major focus has been on aligning the efforts of both Norwegian and Indian partners towards the preset project milestones by facilitating co-ordinated research activities. The previously indicated funding challenges on the Indian side seem to have sorted out for the time being. The research activities in this project have been greatly benefited through three research mobilities (2 PhDs for 5 months each, and 1 PhD for 1 year, all PhDs from IIT-M) funded by Global Erasmus Mobility Program project operational between the project co-ordinators on both sides during the period 2020 – 2023. The extension due to Corona pandemic and other challenges has been finalized on both sides, leading to a new end date of the project in 2024.One of the PhDs on the Indian side is finalizing her PhD thesis, while the PhD on the Norwegian side is expected to finish in 2025 due to an extension owing to work placement. The second Indian PhD is mid-way in his thesis work and has been currently on exchange at NTNU for 1.5 years partly funded by Nano-Syn-Sens and Global Erasmus Mobility Program. Many of the PhD tasks have been supported by summer students that worked towards establishment of some of the protocols. Technical corner: Norwegian side: Q1-Q2 2023 focused on completion of the review article with a focus on the use of binary surfactants in controlling the growth of anisotropic gold nanostructures. After several rounds of revision from three journals, it was decided to postpone the submission process until Q1 2024 to allow the PhD candidate on the Norwegian side to focus on the experimental manuscript. In this experimental manuscript, our focus has been on understanding the role of tannic acid as a reducing agent in the seeded growth synthesis method, including batch kinetics. The research results are now being drafted into a manuscript which will be submitted in Q4 2023. Q2-Q4 has witnessed a large focus on functionalization of the surfaces of the nanoparticles to anchor them to the optical fibre-based biosensors, realized mainly through the works of 3 MSc students from NTNU and 2 exchange PhDs from IIT-M. These results have been summarized in the form of one master theses (submitted Q2 2023) and two master specialization projects which will be submitted end of December 2023. In addition, the results have been presented at in national and international forum through posters and oral contributions. Several of the findings have been used for education both as components in TKP 4190 Fabrication and Application of Nanomaterials and TKP 4535 Crystallization and Particle Design Courses at NTNU, but also in invited lectures delivered digitally and physically for international universities. The main outcome from this part of the project has been development and validation of functionalization procedures to replace the surfactant from the surface of the gold nanoparticles, which will enable advanced surface chemistry for biosensing. 2023 has witnessed translation of the batch process into microfluidic systems through the efforts of the exchange PhD. The built platform has been shown to produce anisotropic particles and the setup has been modified to carry out on-line screening of synthesized particles. In addition, mutual visits of the PIs have facilitated structured discussions and project planning for the next period. A public dissemination meeting was organized in Q4 2023, alligned with the visit of the Indian PI to Norway. The purpose of this meeting was to showcase the exciting ongoing research within the project to society at large and create awareness about the final goals set in the project. Indian side: There has been substantial work on developing molecular dynamic simulations for studying adsorption of surfactants on gold faces and for binary surfactants in water. New simulations have been started with polarizable gold, which appears to be an important factor governing adsorption of ionic surfactant and surfactant mixtures. Efforts are being concerted to relate the findings from experiments performed at NTNU. On the biosensor development side, the PhD candidate worked on label-free plasmonic detection of Endotoxin using PMB as receptor with limits of detection down to 100 aM. These protocols are being reproduced and finalized for a publication in 2024. A 2-week visit from the Norwegian PhD to IIT-M labs helped in knowledge transfer regarding fabrication of probes that is being currently used in anchoring functionalized spherical gold nanoparticles to the optic probes.

This project aims to understand and control growth of anisotropic Au NPs in seeded-growth strategies using a complementary approach that combines experimental and multi-scale modelling techniques for both batch and continuous processes. The obtained Au NPs will then be functionalized for biosensing of endotoxins based on optical fibre technology. The project aims to improve health and promote new medical technology and also provide greater insight into the impacts of nanomaterials on human health and ecosystems. The project team comprises experts in experimental as well as theoretical methods with special competences in NP fabrication, characterization, scale-up and mathematical modelling. State-of-the art nano research infrastructure at NTNU Nanolab will be used for fabrication and characterization while multi-scale modelling knowledge, approaches and facilities at IIT-M will be used for developing process models that capture the growth. The proposal aims to solve a pressing societal need of providing cheap, in-house and improved healthcare and medical facilities in biosensing which will be realized in the Biosensors Labortory at IIT-M. Although several reports exist documenting seeded growth, to our knowledge, there exists no comprehensive mathematical modelling in case of binary surfactant mixtures. Further, using microfluidic routes, high throughput of anisotropic Au NPs will be achieved. Functionalization of the Au NPs to chemisorb them on fibreoptic sensors will help realize ultrasensitive plasmonic sensors for endotoxin detection. The project would therefore provide fundamental understanding of nucleation and growth of anisotropic Au NPs with an aim to fabricate in-house sensors, the technology behind which can be patented. It also aims to educate 3 PhDs within the research area over the project period, foster ongoing collaborative research between the partners and establish research ties for long-term co-operation.

Publications from Cristin

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NANO2021-Nanoteknologi og nye materiale