Updated on 29 Jun 2020, 12:20 pm
(PHOTO: PIB/MohammadFaiyaz Anwar)
A group of researchers at the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) and the Goa University (GU) have claimed that gold nanoparticles (GNPs) can be used for therapeutic use. The research paper has been published in the Journal of Preparative Biochemistry & Biotechnology.
The researchers said that 20-30-nm-sized spherical-shaped GNPs could be synthesized in a controlled environment and could be used as a composite therapeutic agent clinical trials, especially in anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-diabetic, and cholesterol-lowering drugs.
How GNPs work as a therapeutic agent
The NCPOR-GU study revealed the genotoxic effect of GNPs on sulphate reducing bacteria (SRB). GNPs displayed enough anti-bacterial properties by inhibiting the growth of SRB and its sulphide production by damaging the genetic information of the DNA of the bacterial cell.
Genotoxicity is the property of a chemical agent that is capable of damaging the genetic information of DNA and thus causing mutation of the cell, which can lead to cancer.
What are the uses of GNPs?
GNPs are found to be effective in biomedical research. GNPs are found to have greater solar radiation absorbing ability than the conventional bulk gold, which makes them a better candidate for use in the photovoltaic cell manufacturing industry.
GNPs can be used for therapeutic imaging as particles above 100 nm show blue or violet colour in water, while the colour becomes wine red in 100 nm gold colloidal particles.
The biocompatibility, high surface area, stability, and nontoxicity make GNPs suitable for various applications in therapeutic use including detection and diagnosis of diseases, bio-labeling, and targeted drug delivery.
As nano-carriers, GNPs are capable of transferring various drugs made out of peptides, proteins, plasmid DNAs, small interfering RNAs, and chemotherapeutic agents to target diseased cells of the human body.
GNPs are also found to be useful in the electronics industry. Scientists have constructed a transistor known as NOMFET (Nanoparticle Organic Memory Field-Effect Transistor) by embedding GNPs in a porous manganese oxide as a room temperature catalyst to break down volatile organic compound in air and combining GNPs with organic molecules.
NOMFETs can mimic the feature of the human synapse known as plasticity, or the variation of the speed and strength of the signal going from neuron to neuron. These novel transistors can now facilitate better recreation of certain types of human cognitive processes, such as recognition and image processing and have their application in artificial intelligence.
Why eco-friendly synthesis of GNPs from Antarctic bacteria for therapeutic use
The NCPOR-GU study has resorted to environmentally acceptable green chemistry procedures to reduce gold ion to GNPs using psychrotolerant Antarctic bacteria.
Moreover, they did not have to use synthetic chemical additives as stabilizing or reducing agents. Use of psychrotolerant Antarctic bacteria is found to have special advantages like mild reaction conditions to reduce gold ion to Gold Nanoparticles (GNPs) with a good dispersion capability.