Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (2): 272-290.doi: 10.1016/j.cjche.2020.11.010

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State of arts on the bio-synthesis of noble metal nanoparticles and their biological application

Kok Bing Tan1, Daohua Sun1, Jiale Huang1, Tareque Odoom-Wubah2, Qingbiao Li1,3   

  1. 1 Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China;
    2 Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Wentworth Institute of Technology, 550 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, United States;
    3 College of Food and Biology Engineering, Jimei University, Xiamen 361021, China
  • Received:2020-09-23 Revised:2020-11-14 Online:2021-02-28 Published:2021-05-15
  • Contact: Tareque Odoom-Wubah, Qingbiao Li;
  • Supported by:
    This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21536010).

Abstract: Nanomaterials are materials in which at least one of the dimensions of the particles is 100 nm and below. There are many types of nanomaterials, but noble metal nanoparticles are of interest due to their uniquely large surface-to-volume ratio, high surface area, optical and electronic properties, high stability, easy synthesis, and tunable surface functionalization. More importantly, noble metal nanoparticles are known to have excellent compatibility with bio-materials, which is why they are widely used in biological applications. The synthesis method of noble metal nanoparticles conventionally involves the reduction of the noble metal salt precursor by toxic reaction agents such as NaBH4, hydrazine, and formaldehyde. This is a major drawback for researchers involved in biological application researches. Hence, the bio-synthesis of noble metal nanoparticles (NPs) by bio-materials via bio-reduction provides an alternative method to synthesize noble metal nanoparticles which are potentially non-toxic and safer for biological application. In this review, the bio-synthesis of noble metal nanoparticle including gold nanoparticle (AuNPs), silver nanoparticle (AgNPs), platinum nanoparticle (PtNPs), and palladium nanoparticle (PdNPs) are first discussed. This is followed by a discussion of these biosynthesized noble metal in biological applications including antimicrobial, wound healing, anticancer drug, and bioimaging. Based on these, it can be concluded that the study on bio-synthesized noble metal nanoparticles will expand further involving bio-reduction by unexplored bio-materials. However, many questions remain on the feasibility of bio-synthesized noble metal nanoparticles to replace existing methods on various biological applications. Nevertheless, the current development of the biological application by bio-synthesized noble metal NPs is still intensively ongoing, and will eventually reach the goal of full commercialization.

Key words: Noble metal nanoparticles, Bio-synthesis, Bio-templating, Bio-material, Bio-logical application, Nanomaterials