Microbial exopolysaccharide-mediated synthesis and stabilization of metal nanoparticles

Ganesan Sathiyanarayanan, Krishnamoorthy Dineshkumar, Yung-Hun Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Exopolysaccharides (EPSs) are structurally and functionally valuable biopolymer secreted by different prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms in response to biotic/abiotic stresses and to survive in extreme environments. Microbial EPSs are fascinating in various industrial sectors due to their excellent material properties and less toxic, highly biodegradable, and biocompatible nature. Recently, microbial EPSs have been used as a potential template for the rapid synthesis of metallic nanoparticles and EPS-mediated metal reduction processes are emerging as simple, harmless, and environmentally benign green chemistry approaches. EPS-mediated synthesis of metal nanoparticles is a distinctive metabolism-independent bio-reduction process due to the formation of interfaces between metal cations and the polyanionic functional groups (i.e. hydroxyl, carboxyl and amino groups) of the EPS. In addition, the range of physicochemical features which facilitates the EPS as an efficient stabilizing or capping agents to protect the primary structure of the metal nanoparticles with an encapsulation film in order to separate the nanoparticle core from the mixture of composites. The EPS-capping also enables the further modification of metal nanoparticles with expected material properties for multifarious applications. The present review discusses the microbial EPS-mediated green synthesis/stabilization of metal nanoparticles, possible mechanisms involved in EPS-mediated metal reduction, and application prospects of EPS-based metal nanoparticles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-752
Number of pages22
JournalCritical Reviews in Microbiology
Issue number6
Early online date25 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Exopolysaccharides
  • green synthesis
  • metal nanoparticles
  • metal reduction
  • microorganisms
  • nanoparticle stabilization


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