A review published in the International Journal of Research in Biosciences, Agriculture and Technology examined plant extract-mediated, biologically synthesized zinc oxide nanoparticles (NPs) for their potential antimicrobial applications.
The materials are presented as a greener alternative to chemically and physically produced NPs. In addition, according to the abstract, the approach reduces environmental risk of toxic chemicals.
To create the NPs, as the reviewers explain, dried plant material, e.g., aloe, hibiscus, Cassia auriculata, etc., is ground to make a powder. This powder is used as the reducing and capping agent for nanoparticle synthesis and stabilization. A few milliliters of plant extract is combined with mM of zinc salt solution with constant stirring and heating, which results in the formation of the nanoparticles.
Methods including scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, x-ray powder diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, spectroscopy and others have been used to characterize the resulting ZnO NPs. According to the reviewers, results indicate ZnO NPs show effective antimicrobial efficacy against pathogenic bacteria.