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      Bactericidal and Cytotoxic Properties of Silver Nanoparticles


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          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.

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          Does the antibacterial activity of silver nanoparticles depend on the shape of the nanoparticle? A study of the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli.

          In this work we investigated the antibacterial properties of differently shaped silver nanoparticles against the gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli, both in liquid systems and on agar plates. Energy-filtering transmission electron microscopy images revealed considerable changes in the cell membranes upon treatment, resulting in cell death. Truncated triangular silver nanoplates with a {111} lattice plane as the basal plane displayed the strongest biocidal action, compared with spherical and rod-shaped nanoparticles and with Ag(+) (in the form of AgNO(3)). It is proposed that nanoscale size and the presence of a {111} plane combine to promote this biocidal property. To our knowledge, this is the first comparative study on the bactericidal properties of silver nanoparticles of different shapes, and our results demonstrate that silver nanoparticles undergo a shape-dependent interaction with the gram-negative organism E. coli.
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            Silver as antibacterial agent: ion, nanoparticle, and metal.

            The antibacterial action of silver is utilized in numerous consumer products and medical devices. Metallic silver, silver salts, and also silver nanoparticles are used for this purpose. The state of research on the effect of silver on bacteria, cells, and higher organisms is summarized. It can be concluded that the therapeutic window for silver is narrower than often assumed. However, the risks for humans and the environment are probably limited. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
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              Negligible particle-specific antibacterial activity of silver nanoparticles.

              For nearly a decade, researchers have debated the mechanisms by which AgNPs exert toxicity to bacteria and other organisms. The most elusive question has been whether the AgNPs exert direct "particle-specific" effects beyond the known antimicrobial activity of released silver ions (Ag(+)). Here, we infer that Ag(+) is the definitive molecular toxicant. We rule out direct particle-specific biological effects by showing the lack of toxicity of AgNPs when synthesized and tested under strictly anaerobic conditions that preclude Ag(0) oxidation and Ag(+) release. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the toxicity of various AgNPs (PEG- or PVP- coated, of three different sizes each) accurately follows the dose-response pattern of E. coli exposed to Ag(+) (added as AgNO(3)). Surprisingly, E. coli survival was stimulated by relatively low (sublethal) concentration of all tested AgNPs and AgNO(3) (at 3-8 μg/L Ag(+), or 12-31% of the minimum lethal concentration (MLC)), suggesting a hormetic response that would be counterproductive to antimicrobial applications. Overall, this work suggests that AgNP morphological properties known to affect antimicrobial activity are indirect effectors that primarily influence Ag(+) release. Accordingly, antibacterial activity could be controlled (and environmental impacts could be mitigated) by modulating Ag(+) release, possibly through manipulation of oxygen availability, particle size, shape, and/or type of coating.

                Author and article information

                Int J Mol Sci
                Int J Mol Sci
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                21 January 2019
                January 2019
                : 20
                : 2
                [1 ]Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China
                [2 ]Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Liaocheng University, Liaocheng 252000, China; liyuchao@ 123456lcu.edu.cn
                [3 ]Department of Physics, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: liaocz@ 123456sustc.edu.cn (C.L.); aptjong@ 123456gmail.com (S.C.T.)
                © 2019 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


                Molecular biology
                silver ion,bacteria,cytotoxicity,cell culture,membrane,reactive oxygen species,polymer nanocomposite,food packaging,wound dressing,administration route


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