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Nanozymes: Multifunctional Nanomaterials With Promising Applications

Nanozymes: Multifunctional Nanomaterials With Promising Applications

Explore their classification, from metallic to carbon-based, and discover efficient catalysis for biomedical, environmental, and industrial needs.

Dr. Manjusha Dake
January, 15 2024

Natural activities such as volcanic eruptions, forest fires, dust storms, and sea spray are responsible for the disaster for the human population, but it can also be a source for the production of nanomaterials. Many nanomaterials are also found in humans, invertebrates, and even plants. 'Nanozymes' are nothing but nanoparticles (NPs) having enzymatic properties. In this blog, we are going to discuss nanozymes, their working, and applications briefly.

Enzymes made from nanomaterial are known as nanozymes. This technology mimics the catalytic sites of natural enzymes or incorporates multivalent components for reactions, effectively replacing conventional enzymes for catalysis.

High-performance nanozymes exhibit structural strength, stability, biocompatibility, superior catalytic activity, and material diversity. Like biological enzymes, nanozymes operate by catalyzing chemical processes. Reactions that ordinarily take a long time to take place or fail to occur at all can be accelerated by nanozymes. Nanozymes interact with multiple substrate molecules at once, forming an integral component with enhanced efficiency.

Classification of Nanozymes

Nanozymes are divided into four distinct groups depending on their constituents: metallic nanozymes, metal oxide nanozymes, carbon nanozymes, and other nanozymes.

  • Metallic NPs using gold (Au NPs), platinum (Pt NPs), and palladium (Pd NPs) comprise metallic-based nanozymes. Gold nanozymes possess peroxidase-like activity, which may be employed for a range of applications, including sensing and biological ones. Gold nanozymes have been used to identify biomolecules including glucose, cholesterol, and DNA.
  • The numerous groups with various functionalities are found in metal oxide-based ones. For instance, CeO2 nanozymes can function as superoxide dismutase, catalase, or oxidase-like enzymes, while Fe3O4 nanozymes can work as peroxidase, catalase, or oxidase-like enzymes. There are also several additional metal oxide-based nanozymes, such as CuO NP, MnO2 NP, and V2O5 Iron oxide nanozymes based on iron oxide NPs exhibit peroxidase and catalase-like activities. They can degrade contaminants like organic dyes and heavy metals, making them ideal for environmental remediation. Copper oxide NPs in copper oxide nanozymes exhibit superoxide dismutase activity. Since they can scavenge reactive oxygen species involved in several disease processes, they are important in several biological applications.
  • Graphene oxide (GO), carbon nanodots, and carbon nanotubes make up the majority of carbon-based nanozymes. Carbon nanodots are NPs that can be applied as biological nanomaterials, fluorescent test indicators, and material sensors.

Applications of Nanozymes

The apparent benefits of nanozymes, such as their high stability, high catalytic activity, cheap cost, huge surface area for functionalization, and programmable activity, have led to a wide range of applications.

  • Biomedical: Nanozymes show significant potential applications in the biomedical field, such as identification and therapy of illness. Nanozymes can be used as biosensors to identify the presence of molecules linked to certain disorders, like cancer. They may target certain cells and tissues, lowering the possibility of adverse effects, making them valuable as therapeutic agents as well.
  • Environment: Nanozymes can be employed in environmental applications, such as bioremediation of water. They can catalyze the transformation of hazardous contaminants like heavy metals and organic molecules into less toxic or safer forms. Consequently, they offer a technique for purifying polluted water sources.
  • Industry: Nanozymes may be utilized in manufacturing processes of chemicals and other materials. For instance, nanozymes can be utilized as catalysts in chemical processes, eliminating the need for pricey and hazardous standard catalysts.

Nanozymes have emerged as a promising alternative to traditional enzymes due to their structural strength, stability, biocompatibility, superior catalytic activity, and material diversity. They are classified into metallic, metal oxide, carbon, and other nanozymes based on their constituents.

Nanozymes have numerous applications in various fields, including biomedical, environmental, and industries. Their ability to catalyze chemical reactions efficiently and cost-effectively makes them a valuable tool for researchers, and their potential to address various global challenges makes them an exciting area of research. As research in this field progresses, nanozymes are likely to find even more applications in the future.


Fig 1: Cell lysis in response to reactive oxygen species produced by nanozymes.

Nanozymes bind

Fig 2: Nanozymes bind with harmful pollutants and contaminants and convert those into less toxic form.



Mr. Aniket Bhonde, Ms. Tulsi Bhasme, Mr. Vitthal Bhor, Dr. Ashwini Puntambekar, Dr. Swapnil Gaikwad, Dr. Manjusha Dake*

Dr. D. Y. Patil Biotechnology and Bioinformatics Institute,

Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University)

Tathawade, Pune - 411033, Maharashtra, India.

*, +91 020 67919444

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