Nanotechnology in Bioremediation

BY: Shanky Bhat | Category: Environmental Biotechnology | Submitted: 2013-01-24 11:40:51

Nanotechnology in Bioremediation
In general nanotechnology has involved with objects on the nano scale, or materials measuring between 1 and 100 nm. It was found to be a good definition which is practical and unconstrained by any arbitrary size limitations: The characterization, design, production, and application of structures, devices, and systems by controlled manipulation of shape and size at the nanometer scale that produces structures, devices, and systems with at least one novel/greater characteristic or property (Bawa et al., 2005). For example, Carbon nanotubes have been known for their ability that can adsorb dioxin much more strongly than traditional activated carbon. Smaller particle size allows the development of smaller sensors, which can be deployed more easily into remote locations. The capability of nanotechnology to abate pollution production is in the progress and could potentially catalyze the most revolutionary changes in the environmental field (Watlington, 2005).

Nanotechnology offers potential to stabilize and guard enzymes against mechanical and biotic degradation and thus increases their half-life and permits recirculation in their use while reducing the cost of bioremediation strategies. Encapsulation of xenobiotic-degrading enzymes in nano-particles (1-100 nm) recovers both steadiness and defense against degradation. Enzymes that bind to nanoparticles are more stable and, therefore, less susceptible to mechanical shearing and loss of three-dimensional structure. At the same time, since enzymes are encapsulated inside the nano-structure, hence attack by protease can be prevented. As a result, enzymes continue stable and can be reused numerous times. The usefulness of this approach was demonstrated by Lee et al. 2007 in a 100-day experiment where a nano-fiber-esterase enzyme complex remained functional in both recurrent batch and continuous long-term operation.

Immobilization of enzymes using such approaches delivers an excellent opportunity to spread the half-life and reusability of enzymes and thus reduce the cost of operation. Though, the true progress of emerging technologies could be realized only if all above discussed approaches are integrated at conceptual stage ( Smriti Rayu, et al., 2012)

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