Probiotics, being live microbes, exert numerous beneficial health effects on the host cells. Such probiotics are commercially available as dietary supplements, foods, pharmaceutical formulations. Yakult, Activia yogurt, DanActive fermented milk provide health benefits like boosting up the immune system, treating digestive problems, mental illness, neurological disorders, cancer, etc. However, the use of probiotic bacteria to develop metallic nanoparticles (MNPs) constitutes novel research nowadays. Research inputs and patent reports according to an article published in the journal Recent Patents on Drug Delivery and Formulation highlight their potential in the field of cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, medicine and biotechnology as well.
Prof. Kamla Pathak, the corresponding author said: "Our review findings reinstate the potential of probiotic bacteria to produce MNPs. Patents (US, EP and WIPO patents) during 2009-2016 reaffirm the research and inspire the scientific community worldwide for future exploration. This is the first review article in this aspect that systematically tracks the intellectual aspects of applications and synthesis of MNPs by probiotic bacteria. Prof. Pathak said, "Our study details the interventions on which research on MNPs is on. Gold, silver, magnetic, selenium, iron oxide, magnetic-optical iron oxide-gold core-shell, magnesium oxide, copper oxide, aluminum oxide, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide nanoparticles have applications ranging from their usage in analytical methodologies to treat and diagnose diseases. Specifically, gold NPs are suggested for drug delivery and treating lymphocytic leukemia; silver and copper NPs for antimicrobial activity and zinc oxide NPs as anti-corrosive, antifungal and as an additive in food products such as breakfast cereals. These NPs need to be explored more as no patent till date was found on them based on their biosynthesis, according to the author's report.
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Reference: Akhtar N et al (2017). Probiotics as a Tool to Biosynthesize Metallic Nanoparticles: Research Reports and Patents Survey, Recent Patents on Drug Delivery & Formulation, DOI: 10.2174/1872211311666170313124335