Gold nanoparticles from CIC biomaGUNE star in VERSACE initiative

Gipuzkoa, News

The well-known fashion brand invites you to explore the hidden beauty of gold particles at the nanoscale.

VERSACE has curated the experimental images obtained by Ikerbasque professor Luis Liz Marzán, in collaboration with the universities of Vigo and Antwerp.

Fashion brand VERSACE has been captivated by the intrinsic beauty of gold nanoparticles, a metal whose deep colour has been a hallmark of the luxury brand since its inception. VERSACE has published an editorial project on social media that invites reflection on the concept of beauty at different scales, in unconventional ways and unexpected places, and claims that scientific images often possess a hidden beauty that escapes the public eye. This project, presented as an “experimental series with unexpected collaborators” is conceived as an exploration of hidden beauty and serendipity.

VERSACE has published images of gold nanoparticles synthesised in the laboratories led by Ikerbasque professor Luis Liz Marzán at CIC biomaGUNE and the University of Vigo. The project is based on a set of images showing another face of the beauty of gold, taken by electron microscopy at the aforementioned institutions and in the laboratory of Professor Sara Bals at the University of Antwerp (Belgium).

Laura Tripaldi, science communicator and PhD in Materials Science and Nanotechnology, is the person who has made this union between the world of fashion and nanoscience possible. Tripaldi is the author of an article on the history and properties of gold colloids (gold nanoparticles dispersed in a liquid), which has seen the light of day in this creative project curated and published by VERSACE. In his search, he came across the images of CIC biomaGUNE on the website of the European project EUSMI, a consortium of European soft matter research facilities.

The beauty of gold nanoparticles with biomedical applications

Gold nanoparticles are made up of a few thousand atoms, and are nanometric in size (one nanometre is equivalent to one millionth of a millimetre). As the Versace initiative explains, the properties of materials change according to their size as they move from the macroscale to the nanoscale. Tripaldi adds that “the colour of the material changes depending on the size and shape of the particles that make it up, even though the substance itself remains the same.

“A gold nanoparticle is made up of gold atoms in its crystalline structure, which need to have molecules adsorbed on the surface in order to be dispersed in a liquid, i.e. to form a colloid,” explains Professor Luis Liz Marzán, a pioneer in the development of methods for manufacturing and modifying the surface of gold and silver nanoparticles to improve their application possibilities.

Liz Marzán works on the growth designs of many types of nanoparticles, in the shapes of stars, rods, triangles, spheres, screws, cubes, octahedrons, decahedrons, bones, bipyramids, wires, etc. His publications have achieved worldwide renown for the relevance of their content. In fact, the professor explains that “by manipulating the geometry of nanoparticles, their plasmonic optical properties can be varied at will. Light interacts with these particles differently than it does with larger metals: depending on the metal, the size and the geometry of the metal nanoparticle, a certain colour of light causes an oscillation in the electrons, so that it absorbs a specific frequency of visible light.

VERSACE notes that the chameleon-like beauty of gold changes with scale, revealing unexpected facets the deeper you look. Professor Liz Marzán also highlights the great relevance of such surprisingly regular-shaped nanoparticles, of uniform size and perfectly geometric appearance, spontaneously arranged in beautiful regular patterns: ‘They have applications in many, many fields of health, such as the specific and very sensitive detection of metabolites involved in communication between bacteria, in tumour systems, etc.; the accurate detection of the distribution of cells in a three-dimensional system, to distinguish tumour cells from healthy cells; or bioimaging applications for nanomedicine.

Liz Marzán continues, “the allure of gold in the nanoworld will open unexpected doors in the design of more effective therapeutic methods and in the achievement of the long-awaited personalised medicine”. VERSACE invites us to “look deeper” and reminds us that “beneath the surface there is often a world of hidden beauty and deep meaning”.


Otras noticias