Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have been extensively used for the design of colorimetric sensors and probes due to their interesting photophysical properties. In particular, their surface plasmon resonance (SPR) is influenced not only by the size but also by the shape or the properties of the matrix surrounding the nanoparticles. This SPR band is sensitive to the proximity of other nanoparticles, and thus, analyte-triggered aggregation of AuNPs results in an important bathochromic shift of the SPR band and a change in the color of the solution from red to blue due to interparticle surface plasmon coupling. The selectivity of the AuNPs-based sensors toward the different analytes will depend on the recognition properties of the molecules attached to the surface of the nanoparticles. In this chapter, a selection of biologically active molecules has been considered as analytes: neurotransmitters, nerve agents, pesticides, and carboxylates of biological interest.
Part of the book: Gold Nanoparticles