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Engineering Tailored Nanoparticles With Microbes: Quo Vadis?

R. Prasad, R. Pandey, I. Barman
Published 2016 · Materials Science, Medicine

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In the quest for less toxic and cleaner methods of nanomaterials production, recent developments in the biosynthesis of nanoparticles have underscored the important role of microorganisms. Their intrinsic ability to withstand variable extremes of temperature, pressure, and pH coupled with the minimal downstream processing requirements provide an attractive route for diverse applications. Yet, controlling the dispersity and facile tuning of the morphology of the nanoparticles of desired chemical compositions remains an ongoing challenge. In this Focus Review, we critically review the advances in nanoparticle synthesis using microbes, ranging from bacteria and fungi to viruses, and discuss new insights into the cellular mechanisms of such formation that may, in the near future, allow complete control over particle morphology and functionalization. In addition to serving as paradigms for cost-effective, biocompatible, and eco-friendly synthesis, microbes hold the promise for a unique template for synthesis of tailored nanoparticles targeted at therapeutic and diagnostic platform technologies.
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