Nanoparticles synthesis using supercritical fluid technology - towards biomedical applications
Supercritical fluid (SCF) technology has become an important tool of materials processing in the last two decades. Supercritical CO(2) and H(2)O are extensively being used in the preparation of a great variety of nanomaterials. The greatest requirement in the application of nanomaterials is its size and morphology control, which determine the application potential of the nanoparticles, as their properties vary significantly with size. Although significance of SCF technology has been described earlier by various authors, the importance of this technology for the fabrication of inorganic and hybrid nanomaterials in biomedical applications has not been discussed thoroughly. This review presents the nanomaterial preparation systematically using SCF technology with reference to the processing of biomedical materials. The basic principles of each one of the processes have been described in detail giving their merits and perspectives. The actual experimental data and results have been discussed in detail with respect to the selected nanomaterials for biomedical applications. The SCF synthesis of nanoparticles like phosphors, magnetic materials, carbon nanotubes, etc. have been discussed as they have potential applications in bio-imaging, hyperthermia, cancer therapy, neutron capture therapy, targeted drug delivery systems and so on. The more recent approach towards the in situ surface modification, dispersibility, single nanocrystal formation, and morphology control of the nanoparticles has been discussed in detail.