Scientists from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR-IITR) and Amity University, Uttar Pradesh have been studying the harmful effects of Zinc Oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) on living tissue and genes in mice, and their study reveals a potential threat lurking, if increasing use of such nanoparticles is not addressed soon.
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Several studies in the recent years have focused on the health hazards of chemicals and pesticides used by farmers to protect their crops and improve their yields. Among the cocktail of poison, a controversial herbicide paraquat dichloride, marketed as Gramoxone, is infamous for its link to accidental poisoning and suicides. Now, researchers have developed a new sensor using nanotechnology that not only detects paraquat, but also estimates its amount. This innovation can help save many innocent lives that grow our food.
Technology has revolutionised medicine in the past century. We now have imaging methodologies like X-rays, Computed Tomography (CT) scans and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) allowing us a look inside the body without cutting it open. Nanotechnology seems poised to write the next chapter of this revolution, with various applications in biomedical imaging, diagnosis and effective treatment of diseases. In yet another advancement in this direction, an interdisciplinary team of scientists from Materials Engineering Department and Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, have synthesised iron nanoparticles without any oxide cover that could be used to enhance the sensitivity of MRI by producing images with better contrast. They have also demonstrated the potential application of this research in the targeted delivery of medicines and other biological molecules to specific organs in the body.
Nanotechonology, the field of science that manipulates objects at atomic or molecular level, is tout to be the science of the future. Researchers across the globe are working rigorously to tapthe potential this possesses. In a recent multinational collaborative study, researchers from the Indian Institute of Science(IISc), Bangalore, the Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, and the Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany, have tried exploring the biomedical applicability of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanostructures. The results of this study have opened up novel possibilities in nanoscience research, especially pertaining to the field of biomedicine.
Nano-size polymers have made headlines in the recent years for their biological and medical applications. With dimensions of less than 100 nanometers (nm), they can carry drugs and pharmaceuticals in the body due to their subcellular size, sustained release properties and biocompatibility with our tissues and cells. But how are these nano-size polymers synthesized? In a recently written book chapter in the book, ‘Nano-size polymers: preparation, properties, application’, Prof. Manas Chanda, a retired faculty from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and an expert in the field of polymers, has enunciated the direct synthesis of these tiny polymers by a method called microemulsion polymerization.
Detecting ammonia is important in many industrial and biomedical applications. A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore have synthesized ammonia sensors from filter coffee, the favourite beverage of the city.
Hari Krishna Sadhanala, Ravi Nandan, and Prof. Karuna Kar Nanda from Materials Research Centre, IISc, have reported the synthesis of nanoparticles using filter coffee powder as the starting material. Nanoparticles have a very large surface area for a given volume to capture on their surface, gases in the vicinity. They can be deposited on a substrate like glass, plastic or paper to make the sensors.