In the last few years, silver nanoparticles have been proposed as a promising alternative for the label-free detection of proteins via metal-enhanced fluorescence. Generally, the aromatic amino acid tryptophan is most frequently used in this type of studies, because the intrinsic fluorescence of proteins is usually dominated by tryptophan emissions. In the present study, we evaluated the fluorescence behavior of tryptophan in the presence of a silver colloid with nanoparticles of 100 nm in diameter. The results showed that a nanoparticles concentration of 32 mg L−1 induced maximum fluorescence enhancement. However, the metal-enhanced fluorescence was dependent on the emission wavelength of tryptophan, and this phenomenon was closely related to the metal surface reabsorption process (inner filter effect), suggesting that the plasmon resonance reabsorption effect should be taken into account in analyses involving protein studies by metal-enhanced fluorescence.
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