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|Use of gold nanoparticles improves the drug delivery efficiency of this anticancer drug |
(Credit – Eugen Zubarev/Rice University)
What characteristics make gold an ideal material for such wide-ranging applications? The nobility of gold and its resistance to surface oxidation (which would hinder the operation of nano-scale technologies and devices based on other metals) is one important material characteristic. The optical properties of gold at the nanoscale are also exciting, (gold nanoparticles have a colour varying from red to purple depending on particle size, a property that can be successfully exploited in a range of applications).
Additionally, gold nanoparticles are now known to be catalytically active for a range of commercially important reactions and they also have a surface chemistry particularly suited to the attachment of sulphur-containing molecules, such as thiols, which permits the ‘bottom-up' assembly of interesting and useful structures.
Based on these unique properties, exciting new nanotechnology applications using gold are being developed. These include:
• Low resistance printable gold nanoparticulate inks for flexible electronics
• Gold nanowires for interconnections in future electronic devices
• Nanoparticulate gold colloid for rapid tests and biomedical assays
• Gold nanoparticles used for targeted delivery of anticancer drugs and destruction of cancer cells
• Improved decorative coatings using thiol stabilised gold nanoparticles
• Gold nanoparticle containing paints and textiles exhibiting novel aesthetic effects
• Nanoparticulate gold catalysts for pollution control and chemical synthesis
• Fuel cell electrocatalysts based on carbon supported nanoparticulate gold
About World Gold Council
Founded in 1987, the World Gold Council is an organisation formed and funded by the world's leading gold mining companies with the aim of stimulating and maximising the demand for, and holding of, gold by consumers, investors, industry, and the official sector.
As well as undertaking marketing initiatives to drive demand, the World Gold Council is also instrumental in working to lower regulatory barriers to the widespread ownership of gold products, helping to develop distribution systems and promoting the role of gold as a reserve asset in the official sector.
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