Green Chemistry Biosynthesis of Metal Nanoparticles by Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Grown in Static Magnetic Fields
Principal Investigator
David Sheehan
Focus Area

We have previously discovered that baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cervisiae, when grown in a static magnetic field (SMF), experiences significant oxidative stress including changes to antioxidant defenses. Furthermore, when grown in the presence of silver nitrate, yeast biosynthesize highly-crystalline silver nanoparticles (NP) extracellularly. However, yeast grown in SMF produce NPs with significantly smaller average diameter (2 nm) compared to controls grown in absence of SMF (20 nm). The smaller NPs are much more toxic to bacteria than controls. These are the first observations to our knowledge:

    1. S. cerevisiae supporting NP biosynthesis.
    2. The ability of SMF to affect NP properties.

We propose exploring in more detail the biochemical basis of these phenomena and whether they can be generalized as a green chemistry approach to biosynthesis in other NPs. We also will explore varying SMF field strength as a novel strategy to “tune” NP diameter.