Scientists strike gold with sustainable approach to precious metal

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

Scientists strike gold with sustainable approach to precious metal
Scientists have struck gold with a greener and more affordable way of synthesising gold nanoparticles, thanks to the trichoderma viride fungus.

The team of four led by Aradhana Misra at the National Botanical Research Institute says that this non-chemical approach is quick and will reduce the quantity of gold required for medicine, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

With the likes of gold facials trending in 2015, this development could mean the masses may now have access to luxury beauty treatments and products infused with the precious metal.

The study, published in peer reviewed journal, Scientific Reports​ reveals 300 types of fungi were screened while different shapes and sizes of gold nanoparticles were synthesised by the method.

According to Dr. Misra, changing the parameters of pH, temperature, time, substrate, and culture filtrate concentration influenced their size and geometry which could revolutionize the process of biodegradation going forward.

Deciphering the balance of physical and biological factors to find highly reactive nanocatalyst may revolutionise the organic transformation for bioremediation,”​ the authors explain.

Bringing luxury to the masses.. 

‘24 carat gold dust’ facial treatments were all the rage in the West last year, so cheaper production costs of the particles will come as good news to the consumer with tight purse strings.

Once considered an expensive way of banishing wrinkles, the gold particles reportedly trigger the replenishment of collagen while also having the ability to remove bacteria from the face, helping reduce conditions such as acne, as well as promoting lymphatic drainage, thus reducing dark circles under the eyes.

Spanish brand Casmara Gold develops face masks with the precious dust, claiming to offer the anti-ageing benefits of a professional treatment for a fraction of the cost.

The product comes with a powder and gel which need to be mixed together before applying to the face to create a gold ‘second skin' that solidifies and becomes rubbery in texture when left on for 20 minutes.

The efficacy of gold dust in facial treatments is still being questioned by industry analysts however, with some seeing it as more of a gimmick than beneficial.

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