Synthesis of 4-(dimethylamino)pyridine propylthioacetate coated gold nanoparticles and their antibacterial and photophysical activity

Ayaz Anwar*, Sadia Khalid, Samina Perveen, Shakil Ahmed, Ruqaiyyah Siddiqui, Naveed Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Raza Shah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Gold nanoparticles are useful candidate for drug delivery applications and are associated with enhancement in the bioavailability of coated drugs and/or therapeutic agent. Since, heterocyclic compounds are known to exhibit antimicrobial potential against variety of pathogens, we designed this study to evaluate the antibacterial effects of gold nanoparticles conjugation with new synthesized cationic ligand; 4-Dimethyl aminopyridinium propylthioacetate (DMAP-PTA) in comparison with pure compound and antibiotic drug Pefloxacin. Antibacterial activity of DMAP-PTA coated gold nanoparticles was investigated against a fecal strain of E. coli (ATCC 8739).

A new dimethyl aminopyridine based stabilizing agent named as DMAP-PTA was synthesized and used for stabilization of gold nanoparticles. Gold nanoparticles coated with DMAP-PTA abbreviated as DMAP-PTA-AuNPs were thoroughly characterized by UV–visible, FT-IR spectroscopic methods and transmission electron microscope before biological assay. DMAP-PTA, DMAP-PTA-AuNPs and Pefloxacin were examined for their antibacterial potential against E. coli, and the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined to be 300, 200 and 50 µg/mL respectively. Gold nanoparticles conjugation was found to significantly enhance the antibacterial activity of DMAP-PTA as compared to pure compound. Moreover, effects of DMAP-PTA-AuNPs on the antibacterial potential of Pefloxacin was also evaluated by combination therapy of 1:1 mixture of DMAP-PTA-AuNPs and Pefloxacin against E. coli in a wide range of concentrations from 5 to 300 µg/mL. The MIC of Pefloxacin + DMAP-PTA-AuNPs mixture was found to be 25 µg/mL as compared to Pefloxacin alone (50 µg/mL), which clearly indicates that DMAP-PTA-AuNPs increased the potency of Pefloxacin. AFM analysis was also carried out to show morphological changes occur in bacteria before and after treatment of test samples. Furthermore, DMAP-PTA-AuNPs showed high selectivity towards Pefloxacin in spectrophotometric drug recognition studies which offers tremendous potential for analytical applications.

Gold nanoparticles conjugation was shown to enhance the antibacterial efficacy of DMAP-PTA ligand, while DMAP-PTA-AuNPs also induced synergistic effects on the potency of Pefloxacin against E. coli. DMAP-PTA-AuNPs were also developed as Pefloxacin probes in recognizing the drug in blood and water samples in the presence of other drugs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalJournal of Nanobiotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2018


  • Gold nanoparticles
  • DMAP
  • Antibacterial activity
  • E. coli
  • Synergistic efect
  • AFM


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