A new way to make gold form inside the cells of a micro-organism is published today in the Institute of Physics journal Nanotechnology. Researchers from the National Chemical Laboratory and the Armed Forces Medical College, both in Pune, India, have been using “green chemistry” to develop an eco-friendly way to make tiny gold particles without using toxic chemicals.
Such gold nanoparticles of uniform size can be used in labelling proteins, nucleic acids and other biomolecules, which could lead to new ways of detecting disease, controlling genes and enzymes, and delivering therapeutic drugs directly to the nucleus of the cell. The technology can also be used in developing nanomaterials and nanoelectronics.
The research group took a micro-organism called Rhodococcus from a fig tree, and exposed it to a liquid containing gold ions (which are electrically charged gold particles, rather than neutral ones). They found that the micro-organism caused the gold ions to gain electrons, thereby forming gold nanoparticles within the micro-organism’s cells. These nanoparticles are more concentrated and more uniform in size than particles biosynthesised by previous methods that used a fungus. Although the exact reaction that causes the gold to form is not yet fully known, the group believe that the Rhodococcus species gives better results because it is a certain type of micro-organism (an actinomycete) that shows characteristics of both bacteria and fungi, rather than just being a fungus.
“I am extremely pleased with the formation of these gold nanoparticles. They are mainly between about nine and twelve nanometres in diameter, with a few larger particles. That’s about eight thousand times smaller than a human hair,” said Dr. Murali Sastry from the National Chemical Laboratory, India. “This is much more uniform than the particles formed using other biological methods. Having uniformly sized particles will be needed if we are to use this method in biodiagnosis using gold nanoparticles or to deliver therapeutic drugs.”
Following the biosynthesis of gold nanoparticles in Rhodococcus species, its cells continued to multiply normally, as the ions used were not toxic to the cells – which is important as more gold would be formed as the cells multiplied.
The group will soon be looking into making the nanoparticles on a large scale, which could be attained by genetically modifying actinomycetes to produce more of the enzymes which cause the gold to form.
Michelle Cain | alfa
First use of vasoprotective antibody in cardiogenic shock
17.05.2019 | Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislauf-Forschung e.V.
A nerve cell serves as a “single” for studies
15.05.2019 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future
When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...
Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells
The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
17.05.2019 | Materials Sciences
17.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
17.05.2019 | Materials Sciences