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Nanotechnology: Then and Now

Nanotechnology isn’t a new science. Examples of its uses in the famous Lycurgus cup, Damascus swords or in the hair dyes of ancient Greeks and Romans is often referenced in history. However, it was only after Richard Feynman’s famous “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom,” lecture in Caltech, December 1959, that scientists started to re-explore the potential use of this technology. The technology mainly deals with materials at a nanoscale level (1 nm= 10-9 m).  These nanoparticles can either be obtained in a natural way (ocean spray, volcanic slag, dust particles) or can be artificially synthesized in the laboratory using elements like carbon, gold, silver, copper, aluminum, etc. Today, many market giants have started heavily investing in this novel technology to reap profitable benefits from its potential applications. The global gold nanoparticle market is especially being pushed in the spotlight due to opportunities like its applications in biological sciences or in the healthcare for treating a variety of diseases.

Cell and Phantom Imaging: the biggest application for GNPs

Since these particles are used and applied at a nanoscale, they are excellent base materials for developing ultra-light materials.  GNPs (gold nanoparticles) are widely utilized in compact electronic devices and have experienced a substantial demand from emerging economies, all of which have acted as major drivers for driving the growth of the global gold nanotechnology market. Cell and phantom imaging has recently come up as the most popular application in this market. Phantoms are mainly used as an alternative to human tissues in order to evaluate the performance of an imaging device for measuring radioactivity or x-irradiation under normal conditions. They are capable of simulating real conditions for any 2D or 3D imaging devices. The optical properties of these gold nanoparticles can significantly enhance the function of biological phantoms. The gold nanoparticles also increase the bio-compatibility for in-vivo research and imaging for drug development, identifying tumors, connective tissue diseases, etc. GNPs can also increase the efficiency, efficacy, and reproducibility for target drug delivery system.

Other applications:

Apart from being extensively used in biomedical and cancer treatment, GNPs are widely being researched for developing transformed plant plastids. The desired transformation can be achieved by coating gold nanoparticles particles with DNA and injecting them into plant embryos. Recently, scientists have also discovered certain properties of GNPs that can help detect breast cancer, toxins, or pathogens in humans.

Healthcare Sector to Benefit the Most in the Global Gold Nanoparticle Market

Future Opportunities

Major market players in the global gold nanotechnology market such as Agilent Technologies, Sigma-Aldrich, Cline Scientific, Danaher Corporation, Tanaka Technologies, Nano Composix, Nano Composix, Cytodiagnostics, Goldsol and many others, are exploring further possible uses of these GNPs in fields other than the healthcare. Currently, large-scale research is being carried out in the North American region in various areas of nanotechnology. Miniature electronics using gold nanowires and inks for biosensing has emerged as another popular application for this market. The conduction, as well as optical properties of these GNPs, are thus playing a vital role in the new-age electronics industry. Asia-Pacific holds numerous growth opportunities for the global gold nanoparticles market with countries like India, Japan and China carrying out extensive R&D activities in this field. The catalytic activity of these gold nanoparticles is being explored for oxidation reactions of alcohols, aldehydes, and aromatic alkanes. The photovoltaic application of these GNPs is also increasing due to their optical and photothermal properties. All in all, it is safe to assume that the global gold nanoparticles market holds a great promise for the future.

Jui Pande

Author: Jui Pande

Sr. Content Writer and Editor, Inkwood Research

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