During the study, the researchers found that active chemicals in cinnamon are released when the nanoparticles are created. When these chemicals, known as phytochemicals, are combined with the gold nanoparticles, they can be used for cancer treatment. The phytochemicals can enter into cancer cells and assist in the destruction or imaging of cancer cells, Katti said.
"Our gold nanoparticles are not only ecologically and biologically benign, they also are biologically active against cancer cells," Katti said.
As the list of applications for nanotechnology grows in areas such as electronics, healthcare products and pharmaceuticals, the ecological implications of nanotechnology also grow. When considering the entire process from development to shipping to storage, creating gold nanoparticles with the current process can be incredibly harmful to the environment, Chanda said.
"On one hand, you are trying to create a new, useful technology. However, continuing to ignore the environmental effects is detrimental to the progress," Kannan said.
Katti, who is considered to be father of green nanotechnology, and Nobel prize winner Norman Borlaug have shared similar views on the potential of green nanotechnology in medicine, agricultural and life sciences. Borlaug predicted a connection between medical and agricultural sciences. Katti, who is the editor of The International Journal of Green Nanotechnology, said that as more uses for nanotechnology are created, scientists must develop ways to establish the connection between nanotechnology and green science. The study was published this fall in Pharmaceutical Research.
|Contact: Christian Basi|
University of Missouri-Columbia