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Functionalities of Essential-Oil Mediated Nanoparticles Explored

Essential oil-based biocompatible nanoparticles are employed in a variety of commercial applications where photochemical and biological properties are important.

Functionalities of Essential-Oil Mediated Nanoparticles Explored​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​Study: Essential oil-mediated biocompatible magnesium nanoparticles with enhanced antibacterial, antifungal, and photocatalytic efficacies. Image Credit: AmyLv/Shutterstock.com

A recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports investigates the antimicrobial, antifungal, physicochemical, and photocatalytic properties of biocompatible magnesium nanoparticles (MgNPs) modulated by essential oils.

Metal-Based Nanomaterials for Treatment of COVID-19

The catastrophic SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) outbreak has triggered a worldwide public healthcare concern and health control crisis. The intensity of this virus continues as COVID-19 mutates, with highly infectious strains produced as a result.

Several antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungals are being used to treat the secondary effects of COVID-19. However, the efficacies, long-term side effects, and toxicity of these medications have not been definitively documented.

Metal-based biocompatible nanoparticles can be used as an effective weapon in the battle against SARS-Cov-2. These nanoparticles have outstanding antibacterial and photocatalytic efficiency because of their unique physicochemical features and bio-reductant activities.

Limitations of Traditional Metal-Based Nanoparticles

Silver, titanium, nickel, zinc, and copper-based nanomaterials have traditionally been used for antibacterials and photochemical applications. However, their low cytocompatibility, high toxicity, and various nano-waste byproducts severely limit their commercial prospects in clinical, agriculture, and food safety industries.

Environmental sustainability and beneficial microbial communities, such as soil bacteria and fungus, can also be threatened by the uncontrolled deposition of these non-biocompatible metal-based nanoparticles in terrestrial ecosystems.

Why are Magnesium Nanoparticles (MgNPs) Important?

Magnesium-based nanoparticles are essential for plant growth and photosynthesis, are biocompatible, and relatively safe for humans. MgNPs are also recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe materials with very effective antibacterial properties.

These biocompatible nanoparticles possess stable and distinctive physicochemical properties, including a large optical bandgap, high thermal stability, a low dielectric constant, and a low index of refraction. Mg-based NPs can be used to identify and treat several diseases, including heartburn, gastrointestinal problems, and viral infections.

Due to the extraordinary properties of MgNPs, much scientific research has gone into creating, analyzing, and using these unique biocompatible nanoparticles for various commercial applications.

Biological Strategies for Synthesis of Magnesium Nanoparticles

MgNPs are typically produced using both top-down (physical) and bottom-up (chemical) methods. The use of hazardous chemicals in the production of MgNPs enhances their volatility and pollutes the ecosystem. On the other hand, physical techniques need a lot of energy, making them unsuitable for large-scale industrial applications.

Biological techniques can be employed for the green synthesis of biocompatible nanoparticles since they are cost-effective, ecologically friendly, and less hazardous. Bio-reductants derived from plants, bacteria, fungus, microbes, and other organic resources are used in these green synthesis procedures.

Plant-extracted essential oils are chosen over other natural resources because of their richness of phytonutrients, ease of extraction, accessibility, control, cheap cost, high reduction effectiveness, biosafety, and rapid response rates.

Highlights of the Current Study

In this study, the researchers examined the physiological, antimicrobial, antifungal, and photochemical activities of MgNPs produced by the essential oil of Cymbopogon flexuosus (C. flexuosus). Several spectroscopy experiments were conducted to investigate the physicochemical properties of manufactured biocompatible nanoparticles.

The antibacterial properties of manufactured MgNPs were tested against two strains of bacteria (one positive S. aureus and one negative E. coli) and one fungus culture (F. oxysporum), while their photochemical breakdown efficacy was tested in direct sunlight using methylene blue (MB) dye.

Important Findings of the Research

The researchers discovered that MgNPs produced using C. flexuosus essential oil as a reducing/capping/stabilizing agent had excellent physicochemical, phytochemical, antimicrobial, and antifungal characteristics.

The manufacture of biocompatible nanoparticles demonstrated improved photocatalytic (91.2 percent) efficiency against MB dye degradation under 3 hours of direct sunlight exposure,

Compared to other antimicrobial approaches used to treat infectious disorders, the manufactured MgNPs demonstrated good antifungal (against Fusarium oxysporum) and antimicrobial (against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli) performance.

As a result, it is reasonable to speculate that biocompatible nanoparticles derived from plant-extracted essential oil can behave as a natural bio-adsorbent. Similar approaches may be used for other organic, sustainable, and green solvents.

This research paves the way for the green synthesis of essential oil-mediated MgNPs. Because of their exceptional antifungal, antimicrobial, and photochemical capabilities, these biocompatible nanoparticles can be exploited to build smart prevention strategies against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reference

Pathania, D. et al. (2022). Essential oil-mediated biocompatible magnesium nanoparticles with enhanced antibacterial, antifungal, and photocatalytic efficacies. Scientific Reports. Available at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-14984-3

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Hussain Ahmed

Written by

Hussain Ahmed

Hussain graduated from Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad with Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering. During his studies, he worked on several research projects related to Aerospace Materials & Structures, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Nano-technology & Robotics. After graduating, he has been working as a freelance Aerospace Engineering consultant. He developed an interest in technical writing during sophomore year of his B.S degree and has wrote several research articles in different publications. During his free time, he enjoys writing poetry, watching movies and playing Football.

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