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Nanoscience: The Surface Effects Of Nanoparticles

2945 words - 12 pages

Science that deals with study of materials or any particles that is so small and measured in nanometer scale is called “Nanoscience”. Study about very small particles and its chemical and physical changes at nanoscale is not an easy business. Nanotechnology studies the big picture of those small particles, manipulates them to advance new devices and materials. The name “nanotechnology” was created in year 1974 (Nowack & Bucheli, 2007). But the concept of manipulating Nano particles has been around for centuries mainly in crafting examples are 4th century Lycurgus cup, 13th-18th centuries Damascus saber blades and etc., (Miller et al.,2013). Introduction of nanotechnology was to attain multiple benefits to society in many areas like energy production and conservation, pollution clean-up and medicine. The danger that tags along with this benefiting science does need to be understood before their usage becomes prevalent. Environmental scientists who are concerned about health of organisms and hazard to environment are researching and accessing about toxicity, distribution and fate of the nanoparticles that is released into the environment.
Properties of nanoparticles can impact the environment in a negative way. The surface effects of nanoparticles are both favourable and unfavourable. When they are exposed to tissues or cell of the body they get adsorbed on to their surface, thus they are highly used in medicine field for drug delivery use (Nowack & Bucheli, 2007). By crossing cell membrane or entering the blood stream, the nanoparticles may target other organs. Other important property is high solubility which is advantageous and reduces its toxicity but there are certain nanoparticles which do not dissolve that readily or degrade which may lead to accumulation in body or the environment (Miller et al., 2013).
Humans are exposed to nanoparticles in various routes such as dermal, ingestion, injection and mainly through inhalation (George et al., 2011). Inhaling the particles is high at work place like factories and industries. The common application of silver nanoparticles is increasing at a higher rate due to its unique properties. It has high stability, high electrical conductivity, thermal properties and optical properties (George et al., 2011). Hence they are widely used in textiles, cosmetics, therapeutics, conductive fillers and inks, photovoltaic that convert sunlight to electricity, biomedical devices because of its resistance against bacteria and etc., (Ahamed, Alsalhi & Siddiqui, 2010). Since they can kill bacteria they are vastly used in consumer products so the end result is entry into the environment as waste (Lenaghan et al., 2013). They are too small to be filtered by sewage treatment plans, these by-products later gets spread through as a fertilizer.
Silver Nanoparticle (AgNP) is more lethal to cell system than other metal nanoparticles (Asharani et al., 2009). Amidst the global production of nanoparticle 56% is dedicated to AgNP...

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