Biofabrication of supported metal nanoparticles: exploring the bioinspiration strategy to mitigate the environmental challenges
Biosynthesis of metal nanoparticles (MNPs) has recently emerged as a novel ecofriendly process for the preparation of supported MNPs. However, accumulation of MNP suspensions in the environment after their intended use adversely affects the ecosystem. These neo-contaminants have drawn significant attention with respect to their environmental fate and consequent health issues. Synthesis of MNPs on a solid support has emerged as a prospective solution that may prevent the accumulation of waste MNPs in the ecosystem through a recycling process. However, the prevalent synthesis process of supported MNPs requires highly flammable organic solvents, huge amounts of toxic chemicals, and high temperature and pressure, thus frequently raising toxicity and health concerns. To counter these adverse effects, the eco-friendly biosynthesis process can be integrated with other green chemistry principles for the preparation of sustainable MNPs through regeneration and recycling of the MNPs. With the aim to reduce the MNP toxicity, a novel bioinspired approach has been adopted recently for the synthesis of supported MNPs. In this review, we have highlighted the current developments in bioinspired and biomimetic synthesis of solid supported (including bio-supports) MNPs focusing on sustainable design of engineered nanoparticles (NPs). Special attention has been given to the biosynthetic mechanism of supported MNP formation and application of the bioinspired solid supported MNPs in environment oriented technologies including sensing, treatment of wastewater, catalysis, water disinfection, and anti-fouling activity.