Brewing up silver nanoparticles

The last time I featured green tea was in the context of couture in this June 8, 2012 posting,

First, a June 7, 2012 article by Jane Wakefield about fashion and technology on the BBC News website that features a designer, Suzanne Lee, who grows clothing. I’m glad to see Lee is still active (I first mentioned her work with bacteria and green tea in a July 13, 2010 posting). From Wakefield’s 2012 article,

“I had a conversation with a biologist who raised the idea of growing a garment in a laboratory,” she [Biocouture designer, Suzanne Lee] told the BBC.

In her workshop in London, she is doing just that.

Using a recipe of green tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast she is able to ‘grow’ a material which she describes as a kind of “vegetable leather”.

It turns out there are other uses for green tea, aside from its function in couture or as a beverage with health benefits, according to an Apr. 24, 2013 news item on Nanowerk (Note: A link has been removed),

Already renowned for its beneficial effects on human health, green tea could have a new role — along with other natural plant-based substances — in a healthier, more sustainable production of the most widely used family of nanoparticles, scientists say. Published in ACS [American Chemical Society] Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, their Perspective article (“Greener Techniques for the Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles using Plant Extracts, Enzymes, Bacteria, Biodegradable Polymers and Microwaves”) concludes that greener methods for making silver nanoparticles are becoming available.

The Apr. 24, 2013 ACS PressPak news release, which originated the news item,  offers a brief description of the researchers’ article,

The article describes how extracts from plants — such as green tea plants, sunflowers, coffee, fruit and peppers — have emerged as possible substitutes that can replace toxic substances normally used to make the nanoparticles. In addition, extracts from bacteria and fungi, as well as natural polymers, like starches, could serve as substitutes. “These newer techniques for greener AgNP synthesis using biorenewable materials appear promising as they do not have any toxic materials deployed during the production process,” the scientists say.

Here’s a link to and a citation for the paper,

Greener Techniques for the Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles using Plant Extracts, Enzymes, Bacteria, Biodegradable Polymers and Microwaves by Deepika Hebbalalu, Jacob Lalley, Mallikarjuna N Nadagouda, and Rajender Singh Varma. ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., Just Accepted Manuscript DOI: 10.1021/sc4000362 Publication Date (Web): March 28, 2013
Copyright © 2013 American Chemical Society

This paper is behind a paywall.

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