Indian origin scientist devises eco-friendly way to create gold nanoparticles

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Washington, Sept 27 : A University of Missouri team, led by an Indian origin researcher, has devised a new eco-friendly method to create gold nanoparticles without any negative environmental impact, which is otherwise associated with their production.

Kattesh Katti, professor of radiology and physics in MU's School of Medicine and College of Arts and Science, has also been recognized by rt Image magazine as one of the 25 most influential people in radiology, and his research team have formed Greennano Company, a company that is in the beginning stages of producing environmentally friendly gold nanoparticles.

Gold nanoparticles are used in cancer treatments, automobile sensors, cell phones, blood sugar monitors and hydrogen gas production.

But, since a long time, scientists faced problems in creating the nanoparticles without producing synthetic chemicals that had negative impacts on the environment.

But, the new method, not only eliminates any negative environmental impact, but also has resulted in national and international recognition for the lead scientist.

"I have always believed that nature is smarter and stronger than humankind. This new procedure to create nanoparticles is wonderfully simple, yet it will help create very complex components. There is so much to learn from energy generation, chemical and photochemical reactions of plants," said Kattesh Katti, professor of radiology and physics in MU's School of Medicine and College of Arts and Science.

The Greennano Company will focus on the development, commercialization and worldwide supply of gold nanoparticles for medical and technological applications.

Katti believes that because of this new process to produce the nanoparticles, researchers are developing other ways to use them.

The researchers found that by submersing gold salts in water and then adding soybeans, gold nanoparticles were generated. The water pulls a phytochemical out of the soybean that is effective in reducing the gold to nanoparticles. A second phytochemical from the soybean, also pulled out by the water, interacts with the nanoparticles to stabilize them and keep them from fusing with the particles nearby.

This process creates nanoparticles that are uniform in size in a 100-percent green process. Without the generation of any toxic waste.

"I'm very proud to be one among the list of '25 Most Influential Scientists' in the world, especially in the company of all time greats and former awardees including: Elias Zerhouni, director of National Institutes of Health (2003); Henry N. Wagner Jr., recognized as the Father of Nuclear Medicine (2004); Henry D. Royal, Peter S. Conti, past presidents of the Society of Nuclear Medicine; and Barry B. Goldberg, pioneer of ultrasound (2007)," said Katti.

He added: "This recognition is a tremendous honor and brings a large amount of prestige to our research group, the Departments of Radiology and Physics, the MU Research Reactor Center and the overall research and education enterprise of our University."

The research was published recently in the journal Small.

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