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Revolutionary Discovery: Russian Scientists Transform Potatoes Into Nanotech Marvels

© Sputnik / Vladimir AstapkovichPotatoes are seen at the Preobrazhensky market in Moscow, Russia.
Potatoes are seen at the Preobrazhensky market in Moscow, Russia. - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.12.2023
In a striking scientific breakthrough, researchers from Tyumen Medical University (TyumSMU), together with an international team, have harnessed the humble spud to create silver nanoparticles, a novel approach that could revolutionize fields from medicine to agriculture.
Their findings, published in the journal Heliyon, reveal that these nanoparticles that are derived from white potato peel exhibit powerful antimicrobial and cytotoxic properties, making them a promising tool in the fight against various pathogenic microorganisms.
The significance of metal nanoparticles, especially silver, is well recognized in diverse sectors such as microelectronics and biomedicine. However, their conventional production processes, which predominantly involve chemical and physical methods, are not only energy-intensive and costly but also environmentally detrimental. This has led TyumSMU researchers to explore biosynthesis, a more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable alternative that aligns with the global push toward greener technologies.
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This novel biosynthesis process, developed by the TyumSMU team in collaboration with scientists from Azerbaijan, China, and Turkiye, utilizes the starch found in white potato peel, an abundant and often overlooked agricultural by-product. According to Beylerli Aferin Tagi kyzy, an assistant professor at TyumSMU's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and co-author of the study, this method not only effectively synthesizes silver nanoparticles but also ensures they possess the necessary mechanical, structural, and therapeutic qualities.
The efficacy of these nanoparticles has been rigorously tested, showing promising results against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, as well as Candida albicans, a fungus responsible for candidiasis and various hospital-acquired infections.
Moreover, the TyumSMU researchers believe that the applications of these silver nanoparticles extend far beyond the medical realm. Their low production cost and effectiveness offer potential use in agriculture, particularly in protecting plants from bacterial and fungal diseases.
This pioneering research not only highlights the potential of agricultural waste in scientific innovation but also sets a new standard in sustainable and cost-effective nanoparticle production. It marks a significant step forward in the quest for greener technologies and opens up a myriad of possibilities for future applications in both healthcare and agriculture.
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