Researchers from Murdoch University have developed a technique through which anti-bacterial gold nano-particles can be produced using eucalyptus leaves. The new method can also be used in the medical field.
Scientists produced these nano-particles in a ‘green’ way by dissolving a high purity gold wire in a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acid to produce gold chloride. The gold chloride mixture was then mixed with a water-based solution made out of leaf extracts of the eucalyptus leaves which was allowed to synthesise at room temperature. It resulted in the creation of nanometre scale gold prisms which carry anti-bacterial and antifungal properties due to the wax in the leaf extracts of the eucalyptus.
Gold nano-particles are used in many treatments because of their effectiveness and versatility in treating diseases like tumour, improving delivery and minimising durations and side effects of anticancer drugs. However, at present toxic materials are used to produce these particles which pose risks such as environmental toxicity, cytoxicity and carcinogenecity. The new method on the other hand is clean and non-toxic and does not need complex equipment.