Research Highlight

Eco-friendly nanoparticles

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.68 Published online 25 May 2010

A herb used in traditional Indian medicine can help make gold nanoparticles (GNPs).

Known locally as Mandukaparni or Bramhi (Centella asiatica) the herb offers an eco-friendly way to yield GNPs that will have biomedical applications.

Chemical methods produce unwanted reagents or byproducts rendering GNPs unfit for biomedical applications. To find out a safer way, the researchers selected the non-toxic herb.

They prepared ethanolic leaf extract of the herb and mixed it with aurochloric acid. This mixture produced GNPs with stable ruby-red colour. The nanoparticles were highly stable due to presence of some phenolic compounds bound to the surfaces of the nanoparticles.

"These nanoparticles can be used for cancer detection and therapy," says lead researcher Utpal Bora from the Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati. The GNPs can also be used in the fabrication of biosensors and have the potential to be used in other nanoelectronic devices, he adds.


  1. Das, K. R. et al. Green synthesis of gold nanoparticles using ethanolic leaf extract of Centella asiatica. Mater. Lett. 64, 1445-1447 (2010)