Gold at Forefront of 'Nanotechnology Revolution'

By World Gold Council, PRNE
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

World Gold Council Research Paper Demonstrates Important Applications in Development Using Gold Nanoparticles

LONDON, February 11 - World Gold Council (WGC) has today published 'Gold for Good: Gold and
nanotechnology in the age of innovation', a research paper detailing new
scientific and technological innovations using gold. The report, which was
produced in conjunction with Cientifica Ltd, the world's leading source of
global business and investor intelligence about nanotechnologies,
demonstrates how gold nanoparticles offer the potential to overcome many of
the serious issues facing mankind over the coming decades.

Gold nanoparticles exhibit a variety of unique properties which, when
harnessed and manipulated effectively, lead to materials whose uses are both
far-ranging in their potential and cost-effective. This report explores the
many different applications that are being developed across the fields of
health, environment and technology.

Trevor Keel, Nanotechnology Project Manager at World Gold Council said:

"The opportunities and possibilities identified in this report are just a
subset of the amazing scope to use gold in the era of nanotechnology. As a
readily available and well understood material, gold nanoparticles are ideal
for use in a vast array of applications that improve our lives. WGC is
looking to promote and invest in the development of gold-based innovations
through Innovations Partnerships, so that the full benefits of gold
nanotechnology can be realised."

Tim Harper, founder of Cientifica Ltd, said:

"Over the past decade, almost $50 billion of government funding has been
invested into nanotechnologies, and this investment is now starting to bear
fruit with a steady stream of commercially viable nanotechnologies which are
positively impacting human health, the environment and technology. This paper
demonstrates the many varied applications in which gold nanotechnology can
improve society's standard of living."

Health: Gold has a long history in the biomedical field stretching back
almost five thousand years. However the dawn of the 'nano-age' has really
broadened the potential of gold in biomedical applications and today, gold
nanoparticles are being employed in entirely novel ways to achieve
therapeutic effects.

Tumour targeting technologies which exploit gold's inherent
bio-compatibility, are being developed to deliver drugs directly into
cancerous tumours. Additionally, simple, cost-effective and sensitive
diagnostic tests are being developed for the early detection of prostate and
other cancers.

Environment: Environmental concerns have never been more prominent -
energy and clean water scarcity, global warming and pollution are all major
issues that need to be addressed. Gold nano-particle-based technologies are
showing great promise in providing solutions to a number of environmentally
important issues from greener production methods of the chemical feedstocks,
to pollution control and water purification.

Gold-based catalysts are being developed that can effectively prevent the
release of highly toxic forms of mercury into the atmosphere, the reduction
of chemicals from green feedstock, and also for water purification and
contaminant detection. In addition, gold is being used in meeting the
challenge of constructing cost effective and efficient fuel cells, a key
'clean-energy' technology of the future.

Advanced technology: Gold is already a well established
material in the electronics industry and the use of gold can only increase as
the worlds of electronics and nanotechnology interact further in the future.
Gold is being developed for conductive nanoparticle inks for plastic
electronics because of its material compatibility, inherent durability and
proven track record of reliability. Gold nanotechnologies have also been
shown to offer functional benefits for visual display technologies, like
touch-sensitive screens and potentially for use in advanced data storage
technologies including advanced flash memory devices.

Companies interested in collaborating with World Gold Council
are invited to make contact.

The full paper can be downloaded from:

(Due to the length of this URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste
this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field. Remove the
space if one exists.)


Notes to Editors:

World Gold Council

World Gold Council's mission is to stimulate and sustain the demand for
gold and to create enduring value for its stakeholders. It is funded by the
world's leading gold mining companies. For further information visit

Innovation Partnerships

World Gold Council works directly with partner companies via innovation
partnerships. These support research and development of new practical
applications for the metal, drawing on a genuine commercial market
requirement for innovation. Partner organisations include (but are not
limited to) precious metal, chemical, electronics, materials and biomedical
companies, ranging from small enterprises through to established
international businesses. Interested companies are invited to contact World
Gold Council for further details.

During 2009-2010, the World Gold Council is particularly interested in
receiving proposals relating to the following areas:

    - Industrial catalysts (including catalysts for pollution control and
      chemical processing) Biomedical applications (including medical
      diagnostics, therapeutics and materials)
    - Advanced electronics (including any technology or component likely to
      be used in next-generation devices)
    - Fuel cell systems (including applications both within the fuel cell
      structure and hydrogen processing infrastructure)
    - Optical materials (including nanotechnology, chemicals and coatings)


Cientifica Ltd, based in London, is one of the world's best-respected
consultancy companies in the field of emerging technologies and technology
commercialization. It provides global business intelligence and strategic
consulting services to industry, governments and investors worldwide.

For further Information or images, please contact: Matt Graydon, Director - Corporate Communications, World Gold Council, on + 44(0)207-826-4716, or matt.graydon at; Mary Clark, Capital MS&L on + 44(0)207-307-5336, or mary.clark at; Helen Essex, Capital MS&L on +44(0)207-307-5343, or helen.essex at; Trevor Keel, World Gold Council +44(0)207-826-4710, trevor,keel at

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