Can the formation of nanoparticles be made more environmentally friendly and cost-effective? Making nanoparticles currently involves the use of acidic compounds, such as 4-Mercaptobenzoic acid (pMBA), under harsh conditions. The team’s research involves pursuing protein-directed synthesis of gold nanoparticles, which is a very environmentally friendly alternative. Initial research has focused on examining the formation of gold nanoparticles using pMBA; solutions of gold (III) chloride trihydrate, pMBA, sodium hydroxide, methanol, sodium borohydride and sodium chloride are used in this synthesis. Future work will focus on extending this system with biological molecules to substitute pMBA as a surface capping agent.