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This book provides a complete overview of a wide range of nanomaterials from their synthesis and characterization to current and potential applications with special focus on the use of such nano-based products as functional agents in biomedical, environmental and industrial applications. It addresses the intrinsic relationship between aspects involving the synthesis of nanocompounds, their bio-physico-chemical properties and their interactions occurring in biomedical, environmental and industrial matrix. This book is of interest to engineers, academics and research scholars working in these fields.



Chapter 1. Nanotechnology: Concepts and Potential Applications in Medicine

Nanocarriers have gained enormous highlight as a platform for drug delivery. These systems are often prepared with a variety of either natural or synthetic lipid, polymeric and inorganic materials. Preparation protocols include different bottom-up and top-down strategies, depending on the physicochemical characteristics of the raw materials and drugs. Moreover, the physicochemical properties of nanocarriers can be investigated with different analytical techniques, including dynamic light scattering, electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, etc. The great interest for these nanocarriers is owing to their advantages for drug delivery, such as the protection of the encapsulated drug against degradation, the possibility of sustained release, higher solubility of lipophilic drugs, improved pharmacokinetics, prolonged circulation, passive targeting to solid tumors, based on the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. Also, these nanocarriers can be actively targeted to disease sites through functionalization using moieties such as peptides, folate, monoclonal antibodies and others. Altogether, these characteristics lead to improved efficacy of drugs in the treatment of a variety of diseases, with reduced side effects. Furthermore, nanocarriers have been successfully demonstrated as effective for diagnosis of diseases and have been also employed as theranostic agents. The application of nanocarriers for both treatment and diagnosis of diseases has been thoroughly investigated both in vitro, in cell culture experiments and in vivo, using xenograft animal models, for cancer, for example. However, nanocarriers are promising for application in other conditions, including inflammatory, infectious and degenerative diseases. Finally, many clinical trials have confirmed the efficacy and safety of nanocarriers, and nowadays, there is a variety of formulations available in the market, particularly liposomes. In the next years, many more nanocarriers are expected to move from bench to bedside, particularly in the field of cancer therapy.
Luiziana Cavalcante Costa Fernandes, Karina Alexandre Barros Nogueira, Jéssica Roberta Pereira Martins, Elias Santos, Paulo George Cavalcante de Freitas, Beatriz Alexandre Barros Nogueira, Giovanni Loureiro Raspantini, Raquel Petrilli, Josimar O. Eloy

Chapter 2. Biopolymers for Eco-Safe Remediation

Development of treatment technologies for the removal of pollutants from water, soil, and air is one of the most important areas of environmental science. Biopolymers could be potential tools for environmental remediation. These compounds are high molecular weight molecules with repeated sequences, which may become reactive sites suitable for modifications, creating an opportunity for chemical functionalization. Depending on the contained functional groups, biopolymers such as chitosan, cellulose, carrageenan can bind metals or soil particles and can form cross-linking networks with other polymers. Biopolymer networks can bind to metals on one side, and soil particles on the other side, trapping the contaminants in very stable complexes. This chapter intends to make a general approach on the potential applications of biopolymers previously mentioned in the remediation of water, soil, and air in an ecologically safe way.
Vicente de Oliveira Sousa Neto, Antonio Joel Ramiro de Castro, Cícero Pessoa de Moura, Guilherme Augusto Magalhães Júnior, Rafael Ribeiro Portela, Gilberto Dantas Saraiva, Ronaldo Ferreira do Nascimento

Chapter 3. Magnetite-Zeolite Nanocomposite Applied to Remediation of Polluted Aquatic Environments

The use of nanomaterials, described as structured materials of sizes between 1 and 100 nm, as adsorbents for specific application in the treatment of water and wastewater has been studied for the past few decades. This is mainly due to the adsorptive properties of these materials, such as, large surface areas due to their small size that promotes an increase in adsorption capacity and provides good catalytic activity. Another important property of nanomaterials is their mobility in aqueous media, making them potential adsorbents when applied to the removal of different classes of pollutants, such as: toxic metals ions, organic and inorganic compounds, and also bacteria
Carla B. Vidal, Breno A. dos Santos, Antônia Mayza M. França, Raquel A. Bessa, Adonay R. Loiola, Ronaldo Ferreira do Nascimento

Chapter 4. Chitosan Nanoparticle: Alternative for Sustainable Agriculture

Chitosan is a natural polysaccharide derived from chitin and extracted from agroindustrial residues such as the exoskeleton of crustaceous and other animals. Considered as one of the most abundant organic materials in nature, it has been widely used in several applications of industrial interest, mainly for its environmentally sustainable properties like biodegradability, biocompatibility, non-toxicity, and renewability. Due to the presence of amino groups in their chemical structure, chitosan has great versatility of modifications and formulations for industrial applications, such as controlled release, surface modification, and preparation of nanoparticles. Here, we review some of the successes with chitosan nanoparticles as biomedical applications and their preparation, ionic cross-linked emulsified chitosan, absorption and bioavailability, delivery systems, quality monitoring, and wastewater treatment. However, some problems that these chitosan nanoparticles may cause will be discussed, for example, mechanical resistance, dissolution, and hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity under certain conditions. Finally, some solutions are proposed, like crosslinking agents, and physicochemical modifications, to manipulate particle size and stability. This chapter gives a comprehensive review of the advantages and recent developments in the formulation of chitosan nanoparticles as an alternative for sustainable agriculture.
André Luiz Barros de Oliveira, Francisco Thálysson Tavares Cavalcante, Katerine da Silva Moreira, Paula Jéssyca Morais Lima, Rodolpho Ramilton de Castro Monteiro, Bruna Bandeira Pinheiro, Kimberle Paiva dos Santos, José Cleiton Sousa dos Santos

Chapter 5. Nanotechnology as a Tool for Contaminants Detection in Milk or Milk Products

Milk is ladle out as complete food for adults and infants worldwide by remarkably fulfilling daily nutritional requirements. Milk or milk-based products form a significant part of human diet globally and hence its contamination or adulteration is a natural concern. Some of the known contaminants of milk or milk products include biological contaminants such as microbes or their toxins, antibiotics, chemicals like urea, melamine, natural or synthetic hormones, pesticides, etc. Poor hygienic conditions of the cattles, inappropriate processing, storage or packaging conditions could be a reason for natural microbial infections whereas increase in demand and less supply, decease nature of milk and unavailability of specific and rapid detection techniques can be realizable reasons for adulteration of milk. These contaminants may cause adverse health issues in infants and adults. These issues may be reflected instantly and with a time course too. Health problems due to intake of this adulterants milk are headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, eye sight problem, gastrointestinal complications, kidney problem, heart problem, cancer, and even death. Existing techniques for contaminants detection in milk and milk products are inadequate to detect low levels of these contaminants efficiently. Secondly, these techniques are sophisticated and centralized, and require skilled persons or are less specific. The emphasis is on developing point of use diagnostic assays of milk contaminant detection so that the end user can perform the test easily. Nanotechnology has shown a great potential in meeting this demand. Nanomaterials have been used in various ways like, as reporter, catalyst, quencher, or separator to develop point of use diagnostic assays. This chapter intend to present an overview of the nanomaterial-based diagnostic platforms reported so far for contaminant detection in milk or milk products. The status quo of the nanosensing methods for milk or milk products analysis would be presented here.
Pooja Singh, Smriti Singh, Seema Nara

Chapter 6. Natural Polymers in Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology

The use of natural polymers for the release of drugs is attractive due to biodegradability, biocompatibility, inexpensive, chemically modifiable, in addition to secondary properties such as high swelling capacity, bioadhesion, offering positive electric charges, and stimulus-sensitive factors such as pH and temperature. The present work proposes a critical approach to the state of the art on the applications of natural polymers for the release of drugs, and the manufacture of nanoparticles, including advantages and limitations. We also address the vectorization analysis of nanoparticles elaborated with natural polymers, and we emphasize the application of nanoparticles for gene therapy. Finally, due to the nature of nanoparticle fabrication and disposition, we included a section called “Special requirements in the characterization of excipients and nanoparticles fabricated with natural polymers” aimed to recommend a physicochemical characterization that guarantees the adequate reproducibility of the formulations, one of the great paradigms in the development of nanoparticles elaborated with natural polymers. Finally, we present a section denominated “Nanotoxicology of natural polymers used in the pharmaceutical area.” We mention specific cases of the limitations in this type of excipient, although we also highlight new and better properties that can be exploited.
G. Leyva-Gómez, N. Mendoza-Muñoz, M. L. Del Prado-Audelo, S. A. Ojeda-Piedra, M. L. Zambrano-Zaragoza, D. Quintanar-Guerrero

Chapter 7. Progress and Challengers of Nanomaterials in Water Contamination

Nanotechnology is a field dominated by the development of basic physics and chemical research, where phenomena at the atomic and molecular levels are studied to obtain materials and structures with physicochemical properties of great industrial importance. In the environmental sciences, nanomaterials have been increasingly explored due to their excellent performance and low cost for removing contaminants. This removal capacity is related to its high surface area. In the nanolevel, electrostatic forces take over, and quantum effects come in. In the nanometric scale also which was noted that as particles become nanosized, the proportion of atoms on the surface increases relative to those insides, and this leads to novel properties. In this chapter, an overview of the development of nanomaterials based on metals and metal oxide as well as their applications in water decontamination will be addressed.
Vicente de Oliveira Sousa Neto, Antonio Joel Ramiro de Castro, Gilberto Dantas Saraiva, Ronaldo Ferreira do Nascimento

Chapter 8. New Advances of the Nanotechnology in Textile Engineering: Functional Finishing with Quantum Dots and Others Nanoparticles

The development of textile materials with functional nanoparticles has been driven by the advancement of materials science, the globalized market, competitiveness and the relentless pursuit of solutions that generate innovations in processes and products environmentally correct. Advancement in the studies with quantum dots and semiconductors nanoparticles applied to the surface modifications such as textile fibers and plastics with the purpose of adding specific properties has been one of the reasons for the growth of nanotechnology applied in the textile industry, mainly in the area of multifunctional finishing. The application of many of these inorganic nanocoatings on textiles allows functionalize so as to improve their performance in a wide variety of uses ranging from technical textiles (geotextiles, medical, microelectronic, solar cells and many others) to the conventional textile, giving them new properties, such as the photoluminescence, antibacterial properties, fungicides, self-cleaning, UV protection, flame retardant, supercapacitors, sensors and controlled drugs release. In the years 50–70 have emerged many patents related to the inorganics material coating on textile fibers for technical applications, but it was only in the early 90 that appeared the first patents and publications with application of quantum dots and others inorganics nanoparticles in coating of optical fibers, glass fibers, cellulosic fibers, wool, silk, non-woven and paper. Various techniques of application of functional coatings have been studied: Chemical techniques (wet finishing) carried out mainly by reactions, depletion and chemicals dispersions: examples: sol-gel, electrodeposition, self-assembly and other; techniques carried out by physical and chemical methods of low environmental impact, examples, ALD, PVD, PECVD, CDV, PLD and others. In this chapter proposed aims to contribute to describe the development of functional and smart textiles using quantum dots and others inorganics nanocoatings. And yet in this chapter intends to describe to new physical and chemical processes of nanocoatings with different semiconductors quantum dots, metals and ceramics nanoparticles (Au, Ag, AgCl, ZnO, TiO2, SiO2, Al2O3 and others), carbon nanotubes, graphenes, in order to obtain a smart textile material, as well as describe the properties that textiles may have showing their performance and applications.
J. H. O. Nascimento, B. H. S. Felipe, R. L. B. Cabral, Awais Ahmad, A. B. da Silva, N. F. A. Neto, A. P. S. Júnior, A. L. C. Teófilo

Chapter 9. Nanoparticles for Anticancer Therapy

In the last decades, scientists around the world have been aiming their efforts to elucidate the unique properties of biocompatible nanoparticles and how to use these materials to develop new approaches for cancer treatments. Once discovered that nanoparticles can spontaneously leave the bloodstream in neoplastic sites and passively accumulate in tumor’s interstitium, avoiding their accumulation in normal tissues, researchers have been studying a variety of nanoparticles as drug delivery systems designed to specifically release therapeutic molecules in tumor tissues to increase the load of drugs in the tumors and to reduce the side effects caused by drugs uptake by normal cells. Lately, many types of nanomaterials with potential for application in cancer therapy are under investigation including the mesoporous silica classes such as SBA and MCM families, the calcium phosphates materials such as hydroxyapatite, the nanotubes such as carbon and boron nitride nanotubes, the magnetic nanostructures such as magnetite and the metallic materials such as gold nanoparticles. Recent studies have shown that nanoparticles are promising carriers for drug and gene delivery and also for biomedical imaging due to their large surface area, uniform pore size distribution and high pore volume that allow high drug loads, as well as good biocompatibility. Hence, these nanoparticles can act in pharmacokinetic release profiles, leading to increased bioavailability, target delivery and thereby enhanced therapeutic efficacy. To act as drug delivery systems, nanoparticles must show long-term circulation in the bloodstream, avoiding being recognized and captured by the macrophages. The functionalization of nanoparticles can make them stealthy to immune system and can also provide active targeting to specific tumor cells, considering that some organic molecules can inhibit the opsonization on nanoparticle surfaces, and other molecules can bind as specific ligands in some receptors that are overexpressed in some neoplastic cells. The receptor–ligand-mediated endocytose can be induced by the functionalization of nanoparticle surfaces with these ligands, allowing a more specific delivery of therapeutic agents directly inside the cells. The functionalization process can also tune the surface charge to increase the colloidal stability of the nanomaterials. By radiolabeling the nanostructures, it is also possible to provide theranostic properties to these materials, allowing to make the diagnosis simultaneously to the treatment. Finally, it is even possible to conjugate all these properties in on nanostructured platform consisting a multifunctional nanosystem, conceding the application of multiple concomitant diagnostic and therapeutic techniques.
Marcelo Fernandes Cipreste, Gracielle Ferreira Andrade, Wellington Marcos da Silva, Edesia Martins Barros de Sousa

Chapter 10. Nanoparticles by Ultrasound Irradiation: Organic and Inorganic Materials

Ultrasonic irradiation has become a versatile tool in a variety of synthetic pathways of organic, inorganic and composite materials at “nanorange”. Basically, the ultrasonic waves in a medium, generally, a liquid, provide the phenomenon called acoustic cavitation, which can result in an energy gain by heating reactional system. In this chapter, it is reported that the ultrasound-driven chemical reactions to generate a wide broad of nanoparticle types, specifically by co-precipitation and interface reactions. Herein, a deeply literature review is provided, describing the synthesis of nanomaterials, from metal oxides to polymer-based particles, under ultrasound irradiation, and “how” the chosen of the sonochemistry strategy can tailor the size and shape of these nanomaterials and, consequently, their unique properties.
Lillian Maria Uchoa Dutra Fechine, Fernando Lima Menezes, Letícia Nogueira Xavier, Aldenor Souza de Oliveira, Pierre Basílio Almeida Fechine

Chapter 11. Titanates Nanotubes and Nanoribbons Applied in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Nanoparticles of TiO2 have been the main semiconductor applied in dye-sensitized solar cells. However, with the progress made in the nanotechnology field, new semiconductors with varied morphologic characteristics have been widely investigated. In this chapter, there is a brief review of the synthesis of nanotubes, its different manufacturing techniques, with emphasis on the synthesis of titanate nanotubes and nanoribbons by the alkaline hydrothermal method. In addition, it is discussed some of the main properties that characterize nanotubes, especially the ion exchange process of titanate nanotubes. In this ionic exchange process, it is explained how intercalated ions are obtained on the inner walls of the tubes and the metallic oxides on the external surfaces, along with the several applications of nanotechnology of tubes, ribbons, rods, and others. Finally, among the important applications of nanotechnology, the application of titanate nanostructures in the development of third-generation solar cells is particularly addressed. These materials were deposited on conductive substrate and prepared as the work electrode of the dye-sensitized solar cells.
Antonio Paulo Santos Souza, Ana Fabíola Leite Almeida, Francisco Nivaldo Aguiar Freire, Vanja Fontenele Nunes, Francisco Marcone de Lima

Chapter 12. Interaction of Nanomaterials with Biological Systems

According to literature consensus, nanoparticles are particulate material either engineered or produced naturally, with at least one dimension of 100 nm or less. Currently, an absurd quantity of nanoparticles has been produced with the most different purposes. The establishment of nanoparticles capable of interacting with biological systems in a predictable and controlled way has enabled the development of unprecedented techniques called nanomedicine. The nanomedicine has revolutionized the medical sciences by introducing new diagnostics and treatments at the frontier of knowledge. Such a revolution was possible by varying shapes, sizes, and surfaces of nanoparticles formed by different materials. However, nanoparticles’ use comes along with the risk of potentially adverse effects in natural systems. The increasing application of nanoparticles, both quantitatively and by product diversity, will lead to a diversification in emission sources into the environment. The interaction of particles, which eventually reach the environment, with the biological systems still lacks detailed studies. Therefore, understanding the effect and mechanism of nanoparticle cell interactions, and consequent cellular responses, requires a careful examination including morphological and biochemical aspects. In this chapter, we will discuss basic aspects of nanoparticles interaction in biological systems regarding their application in nanomedicine as well as the potentially unwanted interactions when this nanostructured material is dumped into the environment as an environmental pollutant.
Thaiz Batista Azevedo Rangel Miguel, Sergimar Kennedy de Paiva Pinheiro, Emilio de Castro Miguel

Chapter 13. Creating Smart and Functional Textile Materials with Graphene

The research and development of graphene-based materials are happening at an intense pace due to their extraordinary physical and chemical properties. Their high electronic mobility, high thermal conductivity, mechanical properties, photoluminescence, among others, made them a wonder material in several research fields. The textile community is aware of this evolution and, therefore, is also taking advantage of the properties of these graphene-based materials for the development of textiles with functionalities that include UV protection, antistatic, antibacterial, photoluminescent finishes, improvement of mechanical properties, flexible supercapacitors, sensors, etc. In this context, this chapter aims to address the main concepts, applications, and perspectives on the application of graphene-based material in the textile area. We will mainly focus on the progressing research using graphene oxide (GO), reduced graphene oxide (rGO), and graphene quantum dots (GQDs).
J. H. O. Nascimento, B. H. S. Felipe, J. M. T. C. Dias, A. G. F. Souza, A. P. S. Júnior, F. M. F. Galvão, R. L. B. Cabral, B. R. Carvalho, J. P. S. Morais, Awais Ahmad

Chapter 14. Nanotechnology Systems for Biofuels Production

Biofuels have been gaining prominence as alternative technologies to reduce the use of fossil fuels, which are causing major environmental problems such as increasing the greenhouse effect. The design new systems for producing clean, sustainable energy are needed. In this perspective, advances in technologies that increase production of raw materials, reduced costs, and greater efficiency are the great challenge. In this context, nanoparticles are gaining considerable prominence as a platform for designing highly efficient industrial systems. In addition, nanoparticles become quite versatile due to their properties such as small size, high surface area, surface charge, surface chemistry, solubility, and multi-functionality. Here, we review some of the successes with the nanotechnology systems to produce biofuels (as biodiesel, biogas, biohydrogen, bioethanol, algal-derived fuels, jet fuels, and others) together with recent technologies, catalysts and reactors. However, some problems that these nanotechnology systems for biofuels may cause will be discussed, for example production, feedstocks, process design, separation, and purification. Finally, some solutions are proposed, such as types of nanomaterials that have been used in these nanosystems. This chapter gives a comprehensive review of the current challenges and future research directions in the preparation of nanotechnology systems for biofuels production are discussed.
Francisco Thálysson Tavares Cavalcante, Katerine da Silva Moreira, Paula Jéssyca Morais Lima, Rodolpho Ramilton de Castro Monteiro, Bruna Bandeira Pinheiro, Carlos Alberto Chaves Girão Neto, Kimberle Paiva dos Santos, Maria Cristiane Martins de Souza, Rita Karolinny Chaves de Lima, José Cleiton Sousa dos Santos
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