P Sudhakaran | TNN | Aug 29, 2017, 10:08 IST
KANNUR: With the advent of nanotechnology, researches on synthesis of nanoparticles have also gained prominence of late.
Now, a research work by R Sithara, who is pursuing MTech at department of chemical engineering, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, has found that silver nanoparticles (AgNP) can be synthesized from silver nitrate in an economical way.
Silver nanoparticles are used in antimicrobial coatings, textiles, wound dressing and biomedical devices.
Sithara, her research guide P Sivashanmugam and fellow students P Selvakumar and C Arun claimed that Acalypha hispida (chenille plant, or cat's tail), a common plant, could be used as reducing agent in the process. S Anandan, a teacher from the nanomaterial and solar energy conversion lab of the department of chemistry at the institute, too supported the claim.
The paper, 'Economical synthesis of silver nanoparticles using leaf extract of Acalypha hispida and its application in the detection of Mn(II) ions', published in the latest issue of Journal of Advanced Research, opens up new possibilities in the eco-friendly and economical synthesis of the nanoparticle, along with its application in the detection of manganese ions.
Though the green synthesis uses a variety of reducing agents, including cow's milk, plant extract, microbes, and others elements, the usage of green plant extract has acquired significance due to its availability, cost effectiveness among other advantages, said Sithara, a resident of Edapal in Malappuram.
"Acalypha hispida was used as it is a common plant that can be cultivated everywhere," she said. This makes the study significant as no other research study using the ornamental plant has been reported so far.
"Unlike the conventional practice of boiling to get leaf extract, here the leaves were washed in double distilled water, crushed using a mortar and pestle after addition of 100 ml methanol, to ensure the quality of nanoparticles," she said.
The project has been selected for funding by Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology (TNSCST).