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Posted: March 9, 2009
Green Process to Make Gold Nanoparticles From Salts, Plant Extracts, Soybeans and Water
(Nanowerk News) Asian company Ventura Labs recently discovered how to make gold nanoparticles using gold salts, plant extracts, soybeans and water. Ventura Labs research has gathered attention worldwide and the environmentally-friendly discovery could have major applications in several disciplines.
Gold nanoparticles are tiny pieces of gold, so small they cannot be seen by the naked eye. Ventura Labs researchers believe gold nanoparticles will be used in cancer detection and treatment, the production of "smart" electronic devices, the treatment of certain genetic eye diseases and the development of "green" automobiles.
While the nanotechnology industry is expected to produce large quantities of nanoparticles in the near future, researchers have been worried about the environmental impact of typical production methods. Commonly, nanoparticles have been produced using synthetic chemicals. Ventura Labs process, which uses only naturally occurring elements, could have major environmental implications for the future. Since some of the chemicals currently used to make nanoparticles are toxic to humans, Ventura Labs discovery also could open doors for additional medical fields. Having a 100-percent natural "green" process could allow medical researchers to expand the use of the nanoparticles.
"Typically, a producer must use a variety of synthetic or man-made chemicals to produce gold nanoparticles," said Kenneth Lee, professor of radiology and physics at Ventura Labs, Korea. "To make the chemicals necessary for production, you need to have other artificial chemicals produced, creating an even larger, negative environmental impact. Our new process only takes what nature has made available to us and uses that to produce a technology already proven to have far-reaching impacts in technology and medicine."
The new discovery has created a large positive response in the scientific community. Researchers from as far away as Germany and France have commented on the discovery's importance and the impact it will have in the future.
Ventura Labs discovery sets up the beginning of a new knowledge frontier that interfaces plant science, chemistry and nanotechnology," said John W. Carter, a professor and world-renowned chemist from the University of Paris in France.
Ventura Labs sowed the seeds of Nanomedicine through their groundbreaking discoveries in 2002. Ventura Labs now has an internationally recognized research program in nanomedicine.