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Phytosynthesis of nanoparticles: concept, controversy and application

Azamal Husen1* and Khwaja Salahuddin Siddiqi2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biology, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, University of Gondar, P.O. Box 196, Gondar, Ethiopia

2 Department of Chemistry, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, University of Gondar, P.O. Box 196, Gondar, Ethiopia

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:229  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-229

Published: 12 May 2014


Nanotechnology is an exciting and powerful discipline of science; the altered properties of which have offered many new and profitable products and applications. Agriculture, food and medicine sector industries have been investing more in nanotechnology research. Plants or their extracts provide a biological synthesis route of several metallic nanoparticles which is more eco-friendly and allows a controlled synthesis with well-defined size and shape. The rapid drug delivery in the presence of a carrier is a recent development to treat patients with nanoparticles of certain metals. The engineered nanoparticles are more useful in increasing the crop production, although this issue is still in infancy. This is simply due to the unprecedented and unforeseen health hazard and environmental concern. The well-known metal ions such as zinc, iron and copper are essential constituents of several enzymes found in the human system even though the indiscriminate use of similar other metal nanoparticle in food and medicine without clinical trial is not advisable. This review is intended to describe the novel phytosynthesis of metal and metal oxide nanoparticles with regard to their shape, size, structure and diverse application in almost all fields of medicine, agriculture and technology. We have also emphasized the concept and controversial mechanism of green synthesis of nanoparticles.

Metal; Metal oxide; Carbon nanomaterials; Green synthesis; Agriculture; Medicine