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.
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.