Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) of an antifungal reagent, myclobutanil (MCB), was performed on Au and Ag nanoparticles (NPs) to estimate the drug-release behaviors in fungal cells. A density functional theory (DFT) calculation was introduced to predict a favorable binding site of MCB to either the Ag or Au atom. Myclobutanil was presumed to bind more strongly to Au than to Ag in their most stable, optimized geometries of the N4 atom in its 1,2,4-triazole unit binding to the metal atom. Strong intensities were observed in the Ag SERS spectra only at acidic pH values, whereas the most prominent peaks in the Au SERS spectra of MCB matched quite well with those of 1,2,4-triazole regardless of pH conditions. The Raman spectral intensities of the MCB-assembled Ag and Au NPs decreased after treatment with either potato dextrose agar (PDA) or glutathione (GSH). Darkfield microscopy and confocal SERS were performed to analyze the MCB-assembled metal NPs inside <i>Penicillium digitatum</i> fungal cells. The results suggested that MCB was released from the metal NPs in the intracellular GSH in the fungi because we observed only fungal cell peaks.
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