Noble metals are a group of metals that are resistant to corrosion and oxidation, unlike base metals. Most often they include Cu - copper, Ag - silver, Au - gold, Pt - platinum and occasionally Pd - palladium, and Ir - Iridium. Noble metals also have medicinal properties and many have a current role in medicine and/ or medical devices. Silver's antimicrobial properties have been known for centuries. Gold has anti-inflammatory properties and was the first disease modifier for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Gold is used in dental restoration. Platinum, palladium and iridium are part of the platinum group metals used in cancer chemotherapeutics and radiation therapy.
With their rich history in medicine and advances in science, using nanotechnology to improve the therapeutic properties of the noble metals could lead to new and improved medicines and medical devices.