Biofactories: engineered nanoparticles via genetically engineered organisms
Nanoparticles and nanostructures are being applied in a diverse range of biomedical and pharmaceutical applications, including targeted drug- and gene-delivery systems, cancer therapy, anti-virus and antimicrobial agents, RNA and DNA analyses, biosensors, catalysis, and imaging. In the context of nanoparticles and their assembly, organism-centered biosynthesis propounds additional energy-efficiency, safer, greener, and environmentally-friendly protocols in contrast to the physico-chemical procedures necessitating the use of solvents and unsafe/toxic materials, often at elevated temperatures. Genetically engineered organisms can be applied as good candidates for greener, eco-friendly, expeditious, high-throughput, and versatile bioreduction systems for the synthesis and assembly of nanomaterials and NPs, even on the industrial scale. In terms of ideal attributes, they should be much more resistant to metal toxicity, grow rapidly in inexpensive simple media, produce higher yields of biomass and can be easily manipulated genetically. In this review, the latest advances in nanoparticle biosynthesis are highlighted with particular emphasis on the deployment of genetically engineered organisms. The challenges and future trends in this field are accentuated, where innovative and engineered approaches will be the most consequential.