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Researchers Make Breakthrough in the Production of Gold Nanoparticles

Researchers at the University of Debrecen have produced mesoporous gold nanoparticles using a unique method. The research on the special procedure was published on the front page of the prestigious journal of materials science, Nanomaterials.
The new nanoparticles developed jointly by the researchers of the Department of Solid State Physics of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Debrecen and the Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry can also be used in medicine and tumor therapy research.

Our basic intention was to create porous nanoparticles on a framework that reacts to some perceptible physical factor. These nanoparticles are 50 to 500 nanometers in size, with a pore size of 20 nanometers (one nanometer is one hundred thousandths of a hair), depending on the conditions of production.

As removal from the substrate significantly expands the scope of use, we decided to continue the research in this direction. This has opened up the possibility of developing a process that can be used in human medicine in addition to energy. The nanoparticles will be able to enter the body as drug carriers, where they will release active substance or produce heat under the influence of infrared light, so they will be able to kill the affected cells locally, said Zoltán Erdélyi speaking to Hirek. The head of the Department of Solid State Physics added that the presence of gold – as an inert substance – does not cause a problem in the body and is, therefore, suitable for medical procedures. Infrared light can penetrate the body up to several centimeters deep, so that the nanoparticle, when it reaches the right place, exerts its effect on external lighting.

József Kalmár, associate professor of the Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, who took part in the research, revealed that the idea of ​​separating the particles from the support was given at a conference of István Hatvani Vocational College, so the cooperation between the two fields began.

Chemists developed an efficient removal technique and analyzed the resulting suspensions, while physicists worked on the production of the nanoparticle, which gave the interdisciplinary nature of materials science research. This is well illustrated by the fact that József Kalmár formulated the joint work of the first three authors of three doctoral student publications working in different fields.
Csaba Cserháti, associate professor of the Department of Solid State Physics, explained that the next step of the research will be the stabilization of the particles and the fine-tuning of their properties, which can be achieved by making an appropriate coating – just a few atomic rows – thick.

On the one hand, the coating serves the purpose of stabilization, and on the other hand, it greatly improves the tunability of the particles, thus enabling them to apply the process in a depth-selective way, Csaba Cserháti emphasized. The publication appeared on the June cover of Nanomaterials, a renowned, multidisciplinary materials science journal specializing in nanoparticles.

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