For the very first time, a surgery on nanoparticles has been successfully performed. A team of chemists from Carnegie Mellon University was the one who conducted the procedure on the 23-gold-atom nanoparticle.

The team that performed the successful surgery on nanoparticles was led by a Professor of Chemistry at the Carnegie Mellon University, Rongchao Jin. This procedure was considered the first time in the field on nanochemistry.

“Nanochemistry is a relatively new field, it’s only about 20 years old," Professor Jin praised the success of his team to perform surgery on nanoparticles. "Developing atomically precise nanoparticles has allowed us to make this dream come true.”

One of Professor Jin's team member and student, Qi Li was the one who develops the technique for this surgery on nanoparticles. This breakthrough surgical procedure allows scientists to modify and enhance the properties of nanoparticles, including their catalytic activity and photoluminescence. The procedure has been published in the Science Advances Journal vol. 3/5 in May 2017.

Professor Jin admitted that the field of nanochemistry is 80 years old younger than organic chemistry. Therefore, organic chemistry has been able to alter the property of molecules for years. However, for the nanochemistry, this is the first time a surgery on nanoparticles has ever been conducted.

In this surgery on nanoparticles, the team performed a high precision surgery on the nanoparticles of 23-gold-atom or Au23(SR)16. The procedure involved two steps of a metal exchange process, which removed two surface atoms to form 21-gold-atom nanoparticles. This procedure is conducted without changing other parts of the original nanoparticles structure of the atom.

This successful surgery on nanoparticles will open the door for further advancement in the field of nanochemistry. As chemists can alter and modify the property to deliver drugs into the cell such as the advanced treatment in cancer.