Bactericidal and Cytotoxic Properties of Silver Nanoparticles

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number449
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2019



Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) can be synthesized from a variety of techniques including physical, chemical and biological routes. They have been widely used as nanomaterials for manufacturing cosmetic and healthcare products, antimicrobial textiles, wound dressings, antitumor drug carriers, etc. due to their excellent antimicrobial properties. Accordingly, AgNPs have gained access into our daily life, and the inevitable human exposure to these nanoparticles has raised concerns about their potential hazards to the environment, health, and safety in recent years. From in vitro cell cultivation tests, AgNPs have been reported to be toxic to several human cell lines including human bronchial epithelial cells, human umbilical vein endothelial cells, red blood cells, human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, immortal human keratinocytes, liver cells, etc. AgNPs induce a dose-, size-and time-dependent cytotoxicity, particularly for those with sizes ≤10 nm. Furthermore, AgNPs can cross the brain blood barrier of mice through the circulation system on the basis of in vivo animal tests. AgNPs tend to accumulate in mice organs such as liver, spleen, kidney and brain following intravenous, intraperitoneal, and intratracheal routes of administration. In this respect, AgNPs are considered a double-edged sword that can eliminate microorganisms but induce cytotoxicity in mammalian cells. This article provides a state-of-the-art review on the synthesis of AgNPs, and their applications in antimicrobial textile fabrics, food packaging films, and wound dressings. Particular attention is paid to the bactericidal activity and cytotoxic effect in mammalian cells.

Research Area(s)

  • Administration route, Bacteria, Cell culture, Cytotoxicity, Food packaging, Membrane, Polymer nanocomposite, Reactive oxygen species, Silver ion, Wound dressing

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