It’s in your medicine, can color your hair and one day might propel you through space.
Nanoparticle research is a fascinating branch of science. Nanoparticles are defined as particles with a diameter smaller than 100 nm, are increasingly used in different applications, including drug carrier systems and to pass organ barriers such as the blood-brain barrier. The strongly size-related properties of nanoparticles offer uncountable opportunities for surprising discoveries. Nanotechnology is helping to considerably improve, even revolutionize, many technology and industry sectors: information technology, homeland security, medicine, transportation, energy, food safety, and environmental science, and among many others. 20 importants facts about nanoparticles given below:
- Naturally occurring nanoparticles include organic (proteins, polysaccharides, viruses, among others) as well as inorganic compounds (iron oxyhydroxides, aluminosilicates, metals, among others) and are produced by weathering, volcano eruptions, wildfires or microbial processes.
- Nanoparticles were used by artisans as far back as Rome in the fourth century in the famous Lycurgus cup made of dichroic glass as well as the ninth century.
- The therapeutic use of gold can be traced back to Chinese medical history in 2500 BC.
- Swarna Bhasma and Roupya Bhasma is still used in the Indian ayurvedic and Unani medicine for rejuvenation, revitalization and for treating various diseases.
- Michael Faraday in 1857 provided the first scientific description of the properties of nanoparticles in his famous paper “Experimental relations of gold (and other metals) to light”. This was probably the first rationalized report on the purposeful synthesis of colloidal gold nanoparticles.
- The term colloid was coined by Thomas Graham (1861) for suspended particles in liquid medium and was categorized to be in the size range 1 nm to few micrometers.
- Professor Peter Paul Speiser and his research group first investigated polyacrylic beads for oral administration, and in late 1960s developed the first nanoparticles for drug delivery purposes.
- Nanoparticles can deliver the drug even in the smaller areas of the body.
- Ultra-high definition displays and televisions are now being sold that use quantum dots to produce more vibrant colors while being more energy efficient.
- Nanoparticle copper suspensions have been developed as a safer, cheaper, and more reliable alternative to lead-based solder and other hazardous materials commonly used to fuse electronics in the assembly process.
- Most of environmental applications of nanotechnology fall into three categories: Environmentally benign sustainable products (e.g. green chemistry or pollution prevention). Remediation of materials contaminated with hazardous substances and Sensors for environmental stages.
- Nanoparticles can offer many applications in mechanical industries especially in coating, lubricants and adhesive applications.
- Alumina, Titania and carbon based nanoparticles successfully demonstrated to get the desirable mechanical properties in coatings.
- Nanoparticle surreptitiously enter the environment through water, soil, and air during various human activities and responsible for toxicity.
- Silver nanoparticles in fabric are used to kill bacteria, making clothing odor-resistant.
- Silicon nanoparticles coating anodes of lithium-ion batteries can increase battery power and reduce recharge time.
- Gold nanoparticles have been successfully used to dye white hair a deep brown colour, according to a study published in the journal Nano Letters. colour change was created by soaking white hairs in a solution made from the gold compound chloroauric acid, calcium hydroxide and distilled water.
- Silicate nanoparticles can be used to provide a barrier to gasses (for example oxygen), or moisture in a plastic film used for packaging. This could slow down the process of spoiling or drying out in food.
- Nanotechnology is improving the efficiency of fuel production from raw petroleum materials through better catalysis. It is also enabling reduced fuel consumption in vehicles and power plants through higher-efficiency combustion and decreased friction.
- Radiation shielding is an area where nanotechnology could make a major contribution to human space flight. NASA says that the risks of exposure to space radiation are the most significant factor limiting humans’ ability to participate in long-duration space missions. A lot of research therefore focuses on developing countermeasures to protect astronauts from those risks.
Source: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mattod.2013.07.004, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arabjc.2017.05.011, nano.gov