The main difference between organic and inorganic nanoparticles is that organic nanoparticles are made up of carbon-based molecules, whereas inorganic nanoparticles are made of non-carbon-based molecules.
Nanoparticles are particles that are in the size range of 1nm to 100 nm. We can classify these nanoparticles into different types according to their sizes, properties, and shapes. Some examples include fullerenes, metal nanoparticles, polymeric nanoparticles, and ceramic nanoparticles. Their properties vary widely due to the nano size and the high surface area-to-volume ratio. Organic nanoparticles and inorganic nanoparticles are a classification depending on the composition of the nanoparticles.
Key Areas Covered
1. What are Organic Nanoparticles
– Definition, Examples, Properties
2. What are Inorganic Nanoparticles
– Definition, Examples, Properties
3. Difference Between Organic and Inorganic Nanoparticles
– Comparison of Key Differences
Organic Nanoparticles, Inorganic Nanoparticles
What are Organic Nanoparticles
Organic nanoparticles are nanoparticles that are made from carbon-based molecules. They are made of aggregated molecules or polymers. These particles are of the size range from 1nm to 100 nm. Their size is very much similar to biomolecules, so we use them in different applications in the field of biomedical sciences and nanotechnology. Some examples of organic nanoparticles include lipids, proteins, and sugars.
One of the most important uses of organic nanoparticles is in the drug delivery system. In this process, the drugs are encapsulated in nanoparticles and are targeted to specific cells or tissues, reducing the potential for harmful effects. Nanoparticles easily penetrate the cell membranes and deliver the drug to the desired target. In fact, it’s the small structure of nanoparticles that facilitates this drug delivery. To avoid recognition by the immune system, we generally modify the surface properties of nanoparticles. This modification also allows the nanoparticles to circulate in the body for a longer period of time.
We can also use organic molecules to detect specific disease makers or any other molecules in the body by attaching specific biomolecules or antibodies to the surface of the nanoparticles. This method is mostly used in the field of diagnostics. These nanoparticles also emit a signal when they come across a specific molecule. Another application of organic nanoparticles is in the development of sensors. This field uses nanoparticles to detect specific stimuli like temperature and pH. This property of detection and sensing helps in the field of food safety and environmental monitoring. Organic nanoparticles also help in manufacturing batteries and supercapacitors, which make them highly efficient and cost-effective energy storage methods.
What are Inorganic Nanoparticles
Inorganic nanoparticles are nanoparticles made up of non-carbon-based molecules. They can even comprise non-metal elements and forms of hydroxide or phosphate compounds or chalcogenides. Generally, these inorganic nanoparticles are in size range from 1nm to 100 nm. Some examples of inorganic nanoparticles include metals like gold nanoparticles, metal salts and metal oxides, nonporous and mesoporous silica particles, magnetic nanoparticles, and quantum dots.
Depending on the size, composition, and structure, the properties and applications of inorganic nanoparticles vary widely. Preparation of these nanomaterials involves chemical and /or physical methods, which require environmentally hazardous and harsh conditions. Under environmentally friendly conditions, genetically modified microorganisms and wild-type microorganisms are also used in the synthesis of these inorganic nanomaterials. Inorganic nanomaterials thus produced can either be single-element or multi-element nanomaterials. Applications of these particles include cancer therapies, targeted drug delivery, and bioimaging. Moreover, quantum dots are helpful as new optical probes for bioassays. Another use of inorganic nanoparticles is in nanomedicine. In addition, magnetic inorganic nanoparticles are useful as contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging, diagnostic agents in the presence of external magnetic fields, and in site-specific gene and drug delivery.
Difference Between Organic and Inorganic Nanoparticles
Organic nanoparticles are nanoparticles made up of carbon-based molecules, whereas inorganic nanoparticles are nanoparticles made of non-carbon-based molecules.
Some examples of organic nanoparticles include lipids, proteins, and sugars, while some examples of inorganic nanoparticles include metals like gold nanoparticles, metal salts and metal oxides, nonporous and mesoporous silica particles, magnetic nanoparticles, and quantum dots.
Organic nanoparticles are less stable and have a higher tendency to react with other molecules, whereas inorganic molecules are comparatively highly stable.
Moreover, organic nanoparticles are less toxic, whereas inorganic nanoparticles are comparatively toxic due to the presence of heavy metals or other compounds in some instances.
Organic nanoparticles are comparatively more biocompatible than inorganic nanoparticles.
Nanoparticles are of different shapes, sizes, and properties. According to their composition, we can classify them as organic nanoparticles and inorganic nanoparticles. The main difference between organic and inorganic nanoparticles is that organic nanoparticles contain carbon-based molecules, whereas inorganic nanoparticles contain non-carbon-based molecules. Additionally, organic nanoparticles are more biocompatible and less toxic than inorganic nanoparticles.
1. “Organic nanoparticles for drug delivery and imaging.” Cambridge University Press.
2. “Inorganic Nanomaterials: A Brief Overview of the Applications and Developments in Sensing and Drug Delivery.” Journal of Applied Biotechnology Reports
1. “SolidLipidNanoparticle” By Andrea Trementozzi – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Colloidal nanoparticle of lead sulfide (selenide) with complete passivation” By Zherebetskyy – Using Vesta visualisation software plotted the developed model similar to the Science paper (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia