The new gold nano-particle production method, developed by a team lead by Dr Gerrard Eddy Poinern of the Murdoch Applied Nanotechnology Research Group (MANRG), is an exciting development in the treatment of a wide range of conditions.
Gold nano-particles are incredibly versatile. They can be used in thermal treatment therapies, accumulating in cancerous tumours before being heated to damage and kill cancer cells. They can also bond to cancer drugs and target tumours, meaning these drugs are more effective and produce fewer side effects. They have even proven useful in the emerging field of gene therapy.
Dr Poinern said that despite their usefulness, producing gold particles on the nanometre scale had, until recently, “involved expensive chemical and physical processes that often used toxic materials with potential hazards such as environmental toxicity, cytotoxicity and carcinogenicity”.
His team instead dissolves gold wire into a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acid to produce gold chloride. They then before using a water-based solution containing extracts of Eucalyptus macrocarpa to synthesise the nano-particles at room temperature. The wax of the leaf extracts even provides additional antibacterial and anti-fungal benefits.
[img source] G. Sauer-Thompson (CCA 2.0) bit.ly/1p5vlwC