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Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide)-co-(acrylic acid) microgel/ag nanoparticle hybrids for the colorimetric sensing of H2O2

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  • Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide)-co-(acrylic acid) (pNIPAm-co-AAc) microgels composed of Ag nanoparticles (Ag NPs) have been synthesized and employed for the colorimetric sensing of H2O2. Each pNIPAmco-AAc microgel, which exhibited a diameter of ∼800 nm, contained multiple Ag NPs (diameter of ∼5 nm), and solutions of these hybrid materials showed a UV-vis absorption band at ∼400 nm. This is due to the excitation of the Ag NP surface plasmon. We go on to show that the intensity of this absorption band is dependent on the concentration of H2O2 in solution. Specifically, in the presence of H2O2 the magnitude of the absorption peak dramatically decreases in a linear fashion over the concentration range of 0.30 to 3.00 μM H2O2 (r 2 = 0.9918). We go on to show that the response is selective for H2O2 and can still function in complex mixtures, e.g., we showed that the response is still robust in milk samples. While Ag NPs themselves can exhibit similar responses, this system has many benefits including sample processing and long term stability – i.e., Ag NPs are destabilized in solutions of a certain pH, and aggregate readily. Our microgel/Ag NP hybrids have been shown to be extremely stable and are easily purified prior to use by simple centrifugation/washing protocols. This system is simple and straightforward to use, is low cost, and can be used in complex media, which makes it practical for analyzing complex biological and environmental samples.

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    © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015 distributed under an Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence
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    • Han, D., Zhang, Q., and Serpe, M. (2015). Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide)-co-(acrylic acid) microgel/ag nanoparticle hybrids for the colorimetric sensing of H2O2. Nanoscale, 7(6), 2784-2789.
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