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caco3 nanoparticles are well-known for their potential application in drug delivery. They are not soluble in neutral or basic media, but they rapidly dissolve in acidic ones (pH 5.5) opening for targeted release of drugs [1].

The present study aimed to produce monodispersed caco3 nanoparticles by mechanochemical reaction and heat treatment using a cheap raw material, calcium oxalate (CaCO3(COO)). A solid-state displacement reaction was induced during mechanical milling and completed by heating the as-milled powder at 350°C. The resultant calcite single phase ultrafine powder was washed to yield caco3 nanoparticles of varying size and distribution. A controllable mean particle size was achieved by varying the volume fraction of the dry salt matrix. X-ray diffraction and high-resolution TEM were used to characterize the morphology, structure and size of the resulting caco3 nanoparticles.

EDX analysis revealed that the resulting caco3 nanoparticles are composed of 59.8% calcium, 33.4% oxygen and 6.8% carbon, and have a crystallinity of 1.13 . The SEM and HRTEM images of the resulting caco3 nanoparticles showed a star-like shaped crystalline structure.

The caco3 nanoparticles were found to be non-toxic against the fungus L. major as shown by MTT assay (Fig. 1). Moreover, zebrafish groups treated with a concentration of the biogenic caco3 nanoparticles showed lower percentage of malformations than the control group at 96 hpf, including yolk sac edema (YSE), fin fold flexure (FF) and tail flexure (TF). This result suggests that the resulting caco3 nanoparticles may be useful in cement-based biomedical applications.

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