What Are Nanoparticles?
Nanoparticles are tiny bits of matter measuring between 1 and 100 nanometers in size. They may be 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional and exist in a variety of shapes including tetrahedron and spherical. Nanoparticles exist naturally, though humans also synthesize them in laboratories.
They are classified by their properties, shapes, and sizes. Some examples of nanoparticles are fullerenes, polymeric nanoparticles, and metal nanoparticles. Due to their size and high surface area compared to their volume, nanoparticles are useful for many domestic and commercial applications.
Metal Based Nanoparticles
Nanoparticles of the chemical element platinum in a suspension of fluid, usually water is useful as a catalyst for other chemical reactions and is known as a better catalyst than most other types of nanoparticles. Metal-based nanoparticles are useful for energy based research and imaging, like MRIs.
Nanoparticles of platinum are useful in many modern applications. They may be seen in chemi-resistor coating, in cosmetics, and dietary supplements. Modified nanoparticles of this type that used in cosmetics possess anti-oxidant activity.
Platinum nanoparticles are what make catalytic convertors on cars some of the better types of pollution control agents. The nanoparticles react with the pollutant particles to give off less toxic hydrogen and effectively downgrade the toxicity of the emissions from gasoline and diesel engines. More commonly, however, these nanoparticles are used throughout the biomedical field.
Drug Pollution Control
After automotive pollution control, nanoparticles are seen most often in the biomedical field, specifically in the realm of pharmaceuticals. Nanoparticles of platinum are used as a type of drug pollution control, as they break down pharmaceutical waste that would otherwise damage the environment.
One study in 2012 concluded that platinum particles removed more than 90% of estradiol and between 70% and 85% of two antibiotic types from polluted water. In this way, the platinum particles acted as a filter system, breaking down the toxic parts of the drug waste into less hazardous pollutants.
The enzymatic properties of platinum nanoparticles are useful in drug delivery, especially with time-release medications.
Other Biomedical Applications
Platinum nanoparticles have been shown several times over to possess anti-inflammatory and cancer-killing characteristics. platinum-based drugs have been used in chemotherapy since the late 1970s, and their cancer-killing properties are proven beneficial many times since then.
A study published in 2018 shows that platinum and palladium nanoparticles killed almost 50% of breast cancer cells when added to them in a culture.