The assignee for this patent application is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Despite sustained interest in the optical, electronic, and theranostic applications of functionalized nanomaterials, their controlled and reproducible synthesis, particularly above the milligram scale, remains a challenge. Most functionalized nanoparticles (NPs) are still synthesized using discovery-phase synthetic strategies (low-yield, high-waste, low-throughput) and purification approaches which are inefficient and generally not amenable to scale up. As nanotechnology enters a more application-oriented phase, however, kilogram-scale quantities of monodisperse NPs may be desperately needed to verify NP performance in biomedical applications, develop prototype devices, and adequately assess their potential toxicity.
"For instance, it has been calculated that, in order to supply every person on earth with a 10 nm thick, 2.25 cm.sup.2 monolayer of gold nanoparticles (e.g., as a standardized dose for theranostic anti-cancer treatments), gold nanoparticles would have to be reliably produced on the 100 kg scale. Currently, even though gold nanoparticle (AuNP) synthesis has been extensively researched for decades, few synthesis methods produce AuNPs on greater than a 50 mg scale. A typical approach, the standard seeded-growth synthesis of gold nanorods (AuNRs), produces less than 10 mg of AuNRs per batch.
"Though it may seem conceptually simple, the scaling up of gold nanoparticle synthesis is a significant challenge; increasing the concentration of the reagents in the growth solution, or even the volume of the reaction, can significantly alter the rates reagent diffusion and thermal transport, effectively resulting in a loss of control over product properties. In order to meet the demand for nanoparticles for testing and prototype development, it would be advantageous to develop new strategies and infrastructure for nanomaterial synthesis."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Described herein are a continuous flow reactor and flow method for nanoparticle production and processing that may circumvent some of the shortcomings of traditional batch synthesis approaches. The new flow reactor and method may enable, for example, improved control over reagent addition, higher reproducibility, real-time product monitoring, and high-throughput synthesis.
"The continuous flow reactor for nanoparticle synthesis comprises a modular system including a plurality of interconnected tubular components for fluid flow therethrough. The interconnected tubular components include a first tubular inlet and a second tubular inlet connected to a three-way junction comprising a tubular mixer.
"The continuous flow method for nanoparticle synthesis comprises flowing a growth solution and a reaction-initiating solution into a mixing portion of a flow reactor to form a mixed solution; flowing the mixed solution through a holding portion of the flow reactor for a predetermined residence time to form a reacted solution comprising nanoparticles; and continuously removing the reacted solution from the flow reactor so as to achieve a throughput of nanoparticles of at least about 0.5 mg/min.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. 1A shows a schematic of a millifluidic flow reactor including, in this example, commercially available polyvinyl Tygon.RTM. tubing connected by polyethylene mixers and driven by a peristaltic pump.
"FIG. 1B provides a close-up view of an exemplary y-mixer.
"FIG. 1C shows a schematic of an alternative embodiment of the flow reactor including an integrated functionalization and flow-based purification system. The reactor may include a commercially available tangential flow filtration cartridge attached to a second peristaltic pump in order to provide mild, high-throughput purification to facilitate nanoparticle functionalization.
"FIG. 1D shows schematically the effect of purification on a reacted solution comprising nanoparticles.
"FIG. 2 provides a schematic of AuNP synthetic strategies that may be employed in the millifluidic flow reactor.
"FIGS. 3A-3C provide UV-vis absorbance spectra and TEM images of citrate-stabilized AuNPs, MHA-stabilized AuNPs, and CTAB-stabilized AuNPs, respectively, demonstrating that spherical AuNPs with precisely controlled sizes and different stabilizing ligands can be readily synthesized in the millifluidic flow reactor.
"FIG. 4 shows UV-vis absorbance spectra and TEM images for gold nanorods of varying aspect ratio prepared within the flow reactor using a seeded growth approach.
"FIG. 5 shows UV-vis absorbance spectra and TEM images that illustrate the fine-tuning of the shape of the gold nanorods that can be achieved in the flow reactor.
"FIG. 6 shows UV-vis absorbance spectra and TEM images of gold nanorods with different aspect ratios that can be prepared by direct borohydride reduction.
"FIGS. 7A-7D show UV-vis absorbance and optical/TEM images for low-aspect ratio nanorods.
"FIG. 8A-8C shows comparative UV-vis absorbance data for AuNRs purified by centrifugation, an optimized centrifugation process, and tangential flow filtration, respectively.
"FIG. 8D shows the results of .zeta.-potential analysis after each purification stage by tangential flow filtration."
For more information, see this patent application: Murphy, Catherine J.; Lohse, Samuel E.; Eller, Jonathan R. Continuous Flow Reactor and Method for Nanoparticle Synthesis. Filed
Keywords for this news article include: Nanoparticle, Nanotechnology, Emerging Technologies,
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