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Plant-based magnetic nanoparticles with antifungal properties

Date: 10.2.2021 

A team of researchers from Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University obtained magnetic nanoparticles using sweet flag (Acorus calamus). Both the roots and the leaves of this plant have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and insecticide properties. The extract of sweet flag was used as a non-toxic reagent for the manufacture of coated particles.

Kredit: Thakur et al. / Nano-Structures & Nano-Objects, 2020.The authors of the work also showed the efficiency of the new nanoparticles against several types of pathogenic fungi that damage cultivated plants. A technology developed by the team provides for the manufacture of nanoparticles from a cheap plant-based raw material and reduces the harmful effect of reagents on the environment.

The team mixed an extract made from dried sweet flag roots with barium and iron salts and water. Then, the mixture was heated to evaporate the liquid and obtain powder. After that, the powder was sintered at temperatures up to 900°C, and nanoparticles were formed.

The barium ferrite nanoparticles synthesized by the team were active against four species of fungi that cause various diseases of fruit and flowering plants. Even in small concentrations, the nanoparticles were able to slow down the growth of pathogens.

In the course of the Fenton reaction, the ions of iron in barium ferrite reacted with peroxides and reactive oxygen forms (OH radicals) appeared. Being extremely active, they reacted with substances in harmful cell walls, damaged them, and thus slowed down the growth of pathogens.





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