Development of biologically inspired experimental processes for the synthesis of nanoparticles is an important branch of nanotechnology. In this paper, we report on the use of geranium leaves (Pelargonium graveolens) and its endophytic fungus in the extra-cellular synthesis of gold nanoparticles. Sterilized geranium leaves and an endophytic fungus (Colletotrichum sp.) growing in the leaves were separately exposed to aqueous chloroaurate ions. In both cases, rapid reduction of the metal ions was observed resulting in the formation of stable gold nanoparticles of variable size. In the case of gold nanoparticles synthesized using geranium leaves, the reducing and capping agents appear to be terpenoids while they are identified to be polypeptides/enzymes in the Colletotrichum sp. case. The biogenic gold nanoparticles synthesized using the fungus were essentially spherical in shape while the particles grown using the leaves exhibited a variety of shapes that included rods, flat sheets and triangles. While the exact reasons for shape variability are not clear at this stage, the possibility of achieving nanoparticle shape control in a host leaf-fungus system is potentially exciting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Chemistry