01 | SECURE

The VERDEQUANT process substitutes toxic and fossil Ethylene Glycol by bio-based raw materials. This guarantees a secure and safe route to bio-compatible nanomaterials

02 | SENSITIVE

Highest degree of determination of the VERDEQUANT process parameters results in nanoparticles manufactured with higher precision and smaller dimensions. This increases the surface : volume ratio, enhances the total surface and increases sensitivity and effectiveness.

03 | REPRODUCIBLE

Highest degree of determination of the VERDEQUANT process parameters allows the highest degree of reproducibility of the nanoparticles’ physicochemical properties. This is a crucial prerequisite for reproducible results in any application.

A Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) image of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) is shown in Figure 1.  Due to the quantum size, metal oxide nanoparticles have optical and electromagnetic properties that are significantly different from those of bulk materials. Due to their large active surface, the semiconductor nanoparticles show enhanced optical behavior and bio-medical activity as the result. These properties make them of value in microelectronics, precise medical diagnostics and therapy. Cosmetics, which take advantage of the enhanced UV A/B protection properties benefit from ZnO NPs.

 

VERDEQUANT ZnO NPs also provide protection against microorganisms. That qualifies them highly valuable in a diverse range of consumer products, including plastics, detergents, food, fibers and textiles as well as for antimicrobial coatings, keyboards, wound dressings, and medical devices.

 

VERDEQUANT monodisperse ZnO NPs are provided as a powder, free from agglomeration. They are ready to unfold their full potential in your research, development, and use in industrial scale in your demanding applications.

Figure 1: Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images of VERDEQUANT ZnO NPs with diameters of 10 nm.

Figure 2: Bandgap: In contrast to nanoprobes, fluorescing in the visible spectrum, ZnO in its pure form is a high bandgap semiconductor, suitable for UV-applications.

VERDEQUANT  NPs' Optical Properties – Strong UV A/B absorption

In contrast to chemical sun protectors, optical properties of ZnO NPs allow for efficient UV absorption over the entire range for skin protection.

The strong absorption of the VERDEQUANT ZnO NPs occurs because its bandgap of ca. 3.8 eV  (Figure 2) makes the material an highly efficient absorber over the entire UV A/B spectrum (Figure 3). That allows ZnO NPs to show effective absorbance (scattering & absorption) cross sections several times larger than their physical cross section.

 

Figure 3: The spectrum shows constant high absorbance of VERDEQUANT ZnO NPs at <350nm, results from a band-gap of >3.5eV

 

VERDEQUANT Bio-based Process

Note: “ Verde” [lat.: viridis] means green and is used as a synonym for the bio-based process, while “Quant” represents the quantum properties of nanoparticles (NPs).

 

Metal oxide (NPs) currently manufactured in quantities tens of tons p. a. globally, often using expensive and potentially toxic reagents. In important applications, like life-science and cosmetics, bio-compatibility is required. An ecologic and economic process to manufacture NPs in larger scale has long been searched for to offer the efficiency of nanotechnology, combined with the advantages of bio-based processes.

 

VERDEQUANT is programmed to offer solutions to a step-change in many respects:

 

Ecologic step-change by substituting non-renewable fossil raw materials by non-fossil, biogenic raw materials VERDEQUANT represents a bio-based processes where renewable, non-fossil milk derivatives replaces fossil Ethylene Glycol (EG) as utilized in the standard method for the manufacture of ZnO NPs (Figure 4).

 

Socioeconomic step-change whereas ZnO NPs manufactured in accordance to the bio-based synthesis, are labelled specifically to help create high-quality end user product, specifically in the pharmaceutics and cosmetics industry.

 

Technological step-change in the physico-chemical parameters of the ZnO NPs from the bio-based VERDEQUANT process which offers the potential to enhance the quality of the NPs and such that:

  • security for the end user,

  • sensitivity and efficiency in their application (e.g by increasing the active surface area from the same volume), as well as their

  • reproducibility will be significantly improved,

 compared to existing products currently on the market.

Figure 4: VERDEQUANT bio-based process substitutes ethylene glycol by milk derivative, a by-product of cheese making

 

VERDEQUANT ZnO NPs' Surface Chemistry

VERDEQUANT ZnO NPs may be modified to comprise functional groups and metals at their surface applied directly during the manufacturing process.

These functional groups allow a wide range of applications in health and agriculture due to the intrinsic properties of the ZnO NPs (e.g.: antimicrobial agent, optical and electronic properties). VERDEQUANT bio-based manufactured ZnO NPs are intrinsically bio-compatible due to these functional groups and the lack of toxic residuals from other methods, like the ethylene glycol method. In vivo, the bio-compatible NPs would not cause toxic reactions due to the absence of such toxic residuals. ​

 

VERDEQUANT ZnO NPs' Applications

VERDEQUANT ZnO NPs are being used in a large variety of technologies and incorporated into consumer products that take advantage of their desirable optical, electronical, and antimicrobial properties (Table 1).

  • Optical Applications: VERDEQUANT ZnO NPs are used in most of today´s commercially available sun-screens with a protecting factor of 30 and larger.
  • Antimicrobial Applications: VERDEQUANT ZnO NPs are incorporated in apparel, footwear, paints, wound dressings, appliances, cosmetics, hygiene products and plastics for their antimicrobial properties.
  • Microelectronics Applications: VERDEQUANT ZnO NPs constitute a n-type semiconductor with their band-gap tunable due to size and doping.
  • Biomedical applications: VERDEQUANT ZnO NPs find increasingly application in biomedical diagnostics and therapy, due to their bio-compatibility, optical and therapeutical properties e.g. in cancer diagnostics and therapy.

Table 1: Abbreviations:

  • PV: Photovoltaics

  • TPEF: 2 photon emission fluorescence

  • FM: Fluorescence microscopy

  • AB: Anti-bacterial

  • AF: Anti-fungal

 

VERDEQUANT Opportunities:

4n offers a number of opportunities of collaboration in respect to VERDEQUANT with the focus of licensing, development, implementation and supply of ZnO NPs:

The VERDEQUANT process substitutes toxic, expensive and fossil Ethylene Glycol by bio-based raw materials. This guarantees a secure and safe route to bio-compatible nanomaterials, based on an efficient and economic process. A patent is pending as a result of a collaboration between 4n and Instituto Federal Pernambucana, Brazil.

The bio-based VERDEQUANT process allows the highest degree of determination of process parameters, such that the resulting nanoparticles can be manufactured with higher precision and in smaller dimensions. This increases the surface to volume ratio, enhances the total surface and increases the sensitivity in all processes benefiting from a large surface area.

The extraordinary high degree of determination of the parameters of the bio-based VERDEQUANT process allows the highest degree of reproducibility of the nanoparticles’ physicochemical properties. This is a crucial prerequisite for the supply of ZnO NPs of highest quality, size and size distribution, not available from other methods.