Although they are one millionth the size of a human hair and are so small they cannot be seen with the naked eye, nanoparticles may become one of the most significant new products in the biomedical field thanks to University of Missouri-Columbia researchers who have developed a procedure to make them that is 240 times faster than previous methods.
Today, nanoparticles are used in applications as varied as making laundry detergent to medicines. However, for them to be beneficial in biomedical applications, they must be manufactured quickly under biologically friendly conditions. Currently that process takes 20 to 40 hours. Kattesh Katti, MU professor of radiology, physics and a senior research scientist at the MU Research Reactor; Raghuraman Kannan, research assistant professor of radiology and Kavita Katti, senior research chemist in radiology, have reduced the time to create gold and silver nanoparticles at room temperature to five to 10 minutes.
"If nanoparticles are to be used for optical imaging within the body, it is pivotal to be able to generate silver nanoparticles at a specific site within the body almost instantaneously," Kattesh Katti said. "Methods that require excessive heating for long durations will have limited biomedical utility."
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