• Subscribe

Goldy locks: Scientists synthesize gold nanoparticles inside human hair

Hair without treatment (silver), at 1 day (gold), at 16 days (brown). Image courtesy Amercian Chemical Society.

Philippe Walter and colleagues at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France, have pinpointed gold nanoparticles inside human hair. Due to the different amino acids present in human hair, the researchers were able to reduce a solution of chloroauric acid to gold. The gold nanoparticles form mostly in the keratin-rich area of the hair shaft, and are arranged in a pattern of whirls like a fingerprint.

Scientists are exploring various uses, ranging from electronics and sensors to medical diagnostic tests and cancer treatments. Gold nanoparticles have already been used for drug delivery to treat certain diseases, and they have the potential for use as microelectrodes in hair.

An image shows the change of color inside the shaft under white light (A, F). Under blue light, an observable, intense red fluorescence (E) is present instead of the light green fluorescence of hair without treatment (B). Hair dyeing at different intervals of time follows (C-E). The radial development of fluorescence shows a direct correlation with formation of gold nanoparticles.

Observation of cross sections of treated hair by optical microscopy: under white light (A) and under blue light filter (B). Image courtesy American Chemical Society.

A full text version of the published research, Hair Fiber as a Nanoreactor in Controlled Synthesis of Fluorescent Gold Nanoparticles, is available at www.acs.org.

- Amber Harmon

Join the conversation

Do you have story ideas or something to contribute? Let us know!

Copyright © 2021 Science Node ™  |  Privacy Notice  |  Sitemap

Disclaimer: While Science Node ™ does its best to provide complete and up-to-date information, it does not warrant that the information is error-free and disclaims all liability with respect to results from the use of the information.


We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit ScienceNode.org — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on ScienceNode.org” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.