Preparation of dye-coupled, 200-nm silica nanoparticles
This protocol is extracted from research article:
Shaping nanoparticle fingerprints at the interface of cholesteric droplets
Sci Adv, Oct 12, 2018; DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat8597

This procedure was done following the steps outlined by Lee and Yang (43). Briefly, FITC (Sigma-Aldrich) molecules were covalently bonded with APTMS (Sigma-Aldrich). First, 0.0015 g of FITC was dissolved in 2 ml of ethanol and mixed with 0.237 ml of APTMS for 12 hours under stirring with a Teflon-coated magnetic stir bar. Meanwhile, silica nanoparticles with a diameter of 200 nm (dispersed in deionized water), purchased from General Engineering & Research (San Diego, CA), were redispersed in ethanol in a sonication bath for 1 hour. Then, 32.5 ml of an ethanol suspension containing 1 wt % silica particles was mixed with 2.755 ml of ammonia for 10 min. Then, 0.689 ml of 0.1 M NaOH aqueous solution was poured into the bath to activate the silanol groups on the particle surface.

To couple the dye to the particles, 208 μl of as-prepared, FITC-APTMS solution was added to the silica suspension. After 5 min of thorough mixing, 40 μl of TEOS (Sigma-Aldrich) was added dropwise, and the mixture was reacted for 22 hours under stirring. To remove unreacted dye molecules, the resultant dye-coupled particles were washed with ethanol three times by centrifuging and replacing the supernatant with fresh ethanol.

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