Application of Nanoparticles in Food and Pharmaceutical Industry

There are widespread applications of NPs such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food and beverages, agriculture, surface coating, and polymers, among others (see Figure 4.1). A few of them are discussed here.

Nanoparticles as a Potent Antimicrobial Agent

The AgNPs synthesized using an endophytic fungus, Pestalotia sp., isolated from leaves of Syzygium cumini has antibacterial activity against human pathogens, that is S. aureus and S. typhi (Raheman et al., 2011). AgNPs showed powerful bactericidal

Application of metal nanoparticles

FIGURE 4.1 Application of metal nanoparticles.

potential against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Numbers of AgNPs are used against pathogenic bacteria. The bactericidal prospective of AgNPs against the multidrug-resistant bacteria are also investigated (Rai et al., 2012; Morones et al„ 2005). NPs in electrochemical sensors and biosensors A set of forms of NPs such as oxide, metal, and semiconductor NPs have been utilized for constructing electrochemical sensors and biosensors, and these NPs play diverse roles in different sensing systems. The significant functions provided by NPs comprise the immobilization of biomolecules, the catalysis of electrochemical reactions, the improvement of electron transfer among electrode surfaces and proteins, labelling of biomolecules, and still acting as the reactant. The exclusive chemical and physical properties of NPs make them enormously appropriate for designing new and enhanced sensing devices, particularly electrochemical sensors and biosensors. The gold AuNPs are most frequently used for the immobilization of proteins (Liu et al., 2003). Xiao et al. (1999) initially attached AuNPs to gold electrodes modified with cysteamine monolayer and then effectively immobilized horseradish peroxidase on these NPs. An additional type of biomolecules, DNA. can also be immobilized with NPs and used for the creation of electrochemical DNA sensors. In command to immobilize DNA onto the surfaces of NPs, the DNA strands are frequently modified with meticulous functional groups that can work together powerfully with convinced NPs (Cai et al., 2001).

Nanoparticles for Detection and Destruction of Pesticides

Pesticides are hazardous to both human beings and the environment, contaminating drinking and surface water. The unique properties of NPs allow their use in the detection and destruction of pesticides (Rai et al., 2015). The large surface area-to- volume ratio property of NPs plays a crucial role in the catalytic reactions used to degrade pesticides (Aragay et al., 2012). The optical properties of NPs are related to their size and surface-induced changes in electronic structure, which helps in the detection of pesticides. For the destruction of pesticides, a photocatalytic oxidation method employing titanium NPs is used (Aragay et al., 2012).

Nanoparticles in Drug Delivery

Metal NPs with magnetic properties work as an effective molecular carrier for gene separation and show the promising application in drug delivery (Bava et al., 2013). For drug delivery, magnetic NPs are injected into the drug molecule which is to be delivered; these particles are then guided towards the chosen site under a localized magnetic field. These magnetic carriers can carry large doses of drugs (Lu et al., 2007; Perez-Martinez et al., 2012). Similarly, silica-coated NPs are also used in drug delivery due to their high stability, surface properties, and compatibility. Silica NPs are also used in biological applications such as artificial implants (Dikpati et al., 2012; Perez-Martinez et al., 2012; Rai et al., 2015).

Nanoparticles in Medicine and Healthcare

NPs have been utilized newly to develop the present imaging techniques for in vivo diagnosis of biomedical disorders. Presently, iron oxide NPs are being used in patients for both diagnosis and therapy, leading to more effective medication with less unfavourable effects (Gao et al., 2008). An exclusive, susceptible, and greatly explicit immunoassay system based on the aggregation of gold AuNPs that are coated with protein antigens, in the attendance of their corresponding antibodies, was also developed (Thanh and Rosenzweig, 2002). NPs, as drug delivery systems, are capable to uplift the several crucial properties of free drugs, such as solubility, in vivo stability, pharmacokinetics, biodistribution, and enhancing their efficiency (Allen and Cullis, 2004). In this facet, NPs could be used as potential drug delivery systems, owing to their advantageous characteristics. As an illustration of cellular delivery, mixed monolayer protected gold clusters were oppressed for in vitro delivery of a hydrophobic fluorophore (Hong et al., 2006). Pandey and Khuller (2007) designed NP for the growth of oral drug delivery system and recommended that nano-encap- sulation may be useful for developing an appropriate oral dosage form for streptomycin and other antibiotics that are, if not, injectable (Pandey and Khuller, 2007). Elechiguerra et al. (2005) demonstrated the interaction of metal NPs with viruses and explained that AgNPs experience a size-dependent interaction with HIV-1; the NPs of 1 to 10 nm are close to the virus. The usual spatial understanding of the attached NPs, the centre-to-centre space among NPs, and the bare sulfur-bearing residues of the glycoprotein knobs suggested that, through favoured binding, the silver AgNPs prohibited the HIV-1 virus from binding to host cells. Currently, the majority of imaging studies using AuNPs are carried out in cell culture (Elechiguerra et al., 2005). The functional cellular imaging about single molecules has been reported by Peleg et al. (1999), the captivating benefit of the enhanced second harmonic signal by antibody-conjugated gold nanospheres. The exploitation of NPs in cosmetics and medicine coating is widely increased day by day. The metal oxides in NPs, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, now emerge on the component records of household products, as general and assorted as cosmetics, sunscreens, toothpaste, and medicine (Yu and Li, 2011).

Nanoparticles in Cancer Treatment

AuNPs have shown potential in the treatment of cancer (Bhattacharya and Mukherjee, 2008; Chauhan et al., 2011). Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) acts as a potent angiogenic factor and blood vessel permeabilizing agent after ligand binding to VEGF receptors (VEGFRs) on endothelial cells. Blocking the interaction of the VEGF with its receptors could be a possible way to inhibit angiogenesis. Quantum dots are luminescent crystals that allow specific drugs such as proteins, oligonucleotides, and siRNA (small interfering RNA) to penetrate targeted cancer cells in the central nervous system; they are therefore utilized for imaging in biological crystals. However, the toxicity issues of quantum dots is a major obstacle in its medical application to humans (Dikpati et ah, 2012; Rai et ah, 2015).

Nanoparticles in Agriculture

Nanotech delivery systems for pests, nutrients, and plant hormones: In the proficient use of agricultural natural assets such as water, nutrients, and chemicals during precision farming, nanosensors and nano-based smart delivery systems are user-friendly. It makes the use of nanomaterials and global positioning systems with satellite imaging of fields, farm supervisors might distantly detect crop pests or facts of stress such as drought. Nanosensors disseminated in the field can sense the existence of plant viruses and the level of soil nutrients. To put aside fertilizer consumption and to minimize environmental pollution, nano-encapsulation slow-release fertilizers have also become a style (DeRosa et ah, 2010). To check the quality of agricultural manufacture, nano-bar codes and nano processing could be used. Li et ah (2005) used the idea of grocery barcodes for economical, proficient, rapid, and effortless decoding and recognition of diseases. They created microscopic probes or nano-bar codes that may perhaps tag multiple pathogens in a farm, which may simply be detected using any fluorescent-based tools (Li et ah, 2005). Through nanotechnology, scientists are capable to study plant’s regulation of hormones such as auxin, which is accountable for root growth and seedling organization. Nanosensors have been developed that react with auxin. This is a step forward in auxin research, as it helps scientists know how plant roots acclimatize to their environment, particularly to marginal soils (McLamore et ah, 2010).

Nanotechnology for Crop Biotechnology

Nanocapsules can facilitate successful incursion of herbicides through cuticles and tissues, allowing slow and regular discharge of the active substances. This can act as “magic bullets”, containing herbicides, chemicals, or genes that target exacting plant parts to liberate their substance (Perez-de-Luque and Rubiales 2009). Torney et ah (2007) have exploited a 3-nm mesoporous silica NP in delivering DNA and chemicals into isolated plant cells. Mesoporous silica NP is chemically coated and act as containers for the genes delivered into the plants and triggers the plant to take the particles through the cell walls, where the genes are put in and activated in a clear-cut and controlled way, without any toxic side effects. This technique, first, has been applied to establish DNA fruitfully to tobacco and corn plants (Torney et al., 2007).

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