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Posted: March 25, 2010

Nanogap Silver Atomic Quantum Clusters Shown to Electrocatalyse Alcohols

(Nanowerk News) In a recent publication in the prestigious Journal of the Americam Chemical Society ("Silver Sub-nanoclusters Electrocatalyze Ethanol Oxidation and Provide Protection against Ethanol Toxicity in Cultured Mammalian Cells") Arturo Lopez Quintela and co-workers have demonstrated that Silveratomic quantum clusters (Ag AQCs), with two or three silver atoms, supplied by Nanogap, show electrocatalytic activities that are not found in nanoparticles or in bulk silver.
Ag AQCs supported on glassy carbon electrodes oxidize ethanol and other alcohols in macroscopic electrochemical cells in acidic and basic media. This electrocatalysis occurs at very low potentials (from ∼ +200 mV vs RHE), at physiological pH, and at ethanol concentrations that are found in alcoholic patients. When mammalian cells are co-exposed to ethanol and Ag AQCs, alcohol-induced alterations such as rounded cell morphology, disorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, and activation of caspase-3 are all prevented.
Overall, the findings not only show that Ag AQCs are efficient electrocatalysts at physiological pH and prevent ethanol toxicity in cultured mammalian cells, but also suggest that Ag AQCs could be used to modify redox reactions and in this way promote or inhibit biological reactions.
About Nanogap
Nanogap was formed in 2006 to commercialize proprietary technology on the production and use of novel nanoparticle materials. The comapny is a spin-out company from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, born from the NanoMag research group, with more than twenty years experience in production and properties of nanoparticles, and more than 250 publications in scientific journals.
Source: Nanogap (press release)
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