Metallic nanoparticles: microbial synthesis and unique properties for biotechnological applications, bioavailability and biotransformation

L. Pereira, F. Mehboob, A.J.M. Stams, M.M. Mota, H.H.M. Rijnaarts, M.M. Alves*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


The impact of nanotechnology in all areas of science and technology is evident. The expanding availability of a variety of nanostructures with properties in the nanometer size range has sparked widespread interest in their use in biotechnological systems, including the field of environmental remediation. Nanomaterials can be used as catalysts, adsorbents, membranes, water disinfectants and additives to increase catalytic activity and capability due to their high specific surface areas and nanosize effects. Thus, nanomaterials appear promising for new effective environmental technologies. Definitely, nanotechnology applications for site remediation and wastewater treatment are currently in research and development stages, and new innovations are underway. The synthesis of metallic nanoparticles has been intensively developed not only due to its fundamental scientific interest but also for many technological applications. The use of microorganisms in the synthesis of nanoparticles is a relatively new eco-friendly and promising area of research with considerable potential for expansion. On the other hand, chemical synthesis occurs generally under extreme conditions (e.g. pH, temperature) and also chemicals used may have associated environmental and human health impacts. This review is an overview of current research worldwide on the use of microorganisms during the biosynthesis of metallic nanoparticles and their unique properties that make them good candidates for many applications, including in biotechnology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-128
JournalCritical Reviews in Biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • fungus fusarium-oxysporum
  • sulfate-reducing bacteria
  • zero-valent iron
  • immobilized rhodobacter-sphaeroides
  • reductase-mediated synthesis
  • silver nanoparticles
  • gold nanoparticles
  • magnetotactic bacteria
  • magnetic nanoparticles
  • extracellular biosynthesis


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