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      Molecular toxicity mechanism of nanosilver

      , , * ,
      Journal of Food and Drug Analysis
      Taiwan Food and Drug Administration
      Nanosilver, Silver nanoparticle, Toxicity mechanism

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          Silver is an ancient antibiotic that has found many new uses due to its unique properties on the nanoscale. Due to its presence in many consumer products, the toxicity of nanosilver has become a hot topic. This review summarizes recent advances, particularly the molecular mechanism of nanosilver toxicity. The surface of nanosilver can easily be oxidized by O 2 and other molecules in the environmental and biological systems leading to the release of Ag +, a known toxic ion. Therefore, nanosilver toxicity is closely related to the release of Ag +. In fact, it is difficult to determine what portion of the toxicity is from the nano-form and what is from the ionic form. The surface oxidation rate is closely related to the nanosilver surface coating, coexisting molecules, especially thiol-containing compounds, lighting conditions, and the interaction of nanosilver with nucleic acids, lipid molecules, and proteins in a biological system. Nanosilver has been shown to penetrate the cell and become internalized. Thus, nanosilver often acts as a source of Ag + inside the cell. One of the main mechanisms of toxicity is that it causes oxidative stress through the generation of reactive oxygen species and causes damage to cellular components including DNA damage, activation of antioxidant enzymes, depletion of antioxidant molecules (e.g., glutathione), binding and disabling of proteins, and damage to the cell membrane. Several major questions remain to be answered: (1) the toxic contribution from the ionic form versus the nano-form; (2) key enzymes and signaling pathways responsible for the toxicity; and (3) effect of coexisting molecules on the toxicity and its relationship to surface coating.

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          Unique cellular interaction of silver nanoparticles: size-dependent generation of reactive oxygen species.

          The rapid advancement of nanotechnology has created a vast array of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) which have unique physical (size, shape, crystallinity, surface charge) and chemical (surface coating, elemental composition and solubility) attributes. These physicochemical properties of ENMs can produce chemical conditions to induce a pro-oxidant environment in the cells, causing an imbalanced cellular energy system dependent on redox potential and thereby leading to adverse biological consequences, ranging from the initiation of inflammatory pathways through to cell death. The present study was designed to evaluate size-dependent cellular interactions of known biologically active silver nanoparticles (NPs, Ag-15 nm, Ag-30 nm, and Ag-55 nm). Alveolar macrophages provide the first defense and were studied for their potential role in initiating oxidative stress. Cell exposure produced morphologically abnormal sizes and adherence characteristics with significant NP uptake at high doses after 24 h. Toxicity evaluations using mitochondrial and cell membrane viability along with reactive oxygen species (ROS) were performed. After 24 h of exposure, viability metrics significantly decreased with increasing dose (10-75 microg/mL) of Ag-15 nm and Ag-30 nm NPs. A more than 10-fold increase of ROS levels in cells exposed to 50 microg/mL Ag-15 nm suggests that the cytotoxicity of Ag-15 nm is likely to be mediated through oxidative stress. In addition, activation of the release of traditional inflammatory mediators were examined by measuring levels of cytokines/chemokines, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha), macrophage inhibitory protein (MIP-2), and interleukin-6 (IL-6), released into the culture media. After 24 h of exposure to Ag-15 nm nanoparticles, a significant inflammatory response was observed by the release of TNF-alpha, MIP-2, and IL-1beta. However, there was no detectable level of IL-6 upon exposure to silver nanoparticles. In summary, a size-dependent toxicity was produced by silver nanoparticles, and one predominant mechanism of toxicity was found to be largely mediated through oxidative stress.
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            Nanosilver: a nanoproduct in medical application.

            Nanotechnology is a most promising field for generating new applications in medicine. However, only few nanoproducts are currently in use for medical purposes. A most prominent nanoproduct is nanosilver. Nanosilver particles are generally smaller than 100nm and contain 20-15,000 silver atoms. At nanoscale, silver exhibits remarkably unusual physical, chemical and biological properties. Due to its strong antibacterial activity, nanosilver coatings are used on various textiles but as well as coatings on certain implants. Further, nanosilver is used for treatment of wounds and burns or as a contraceptive and marketed as a water disinfectant and room spray. Thus, use of nanosilver is becoming more and more widespread in medicine and related applications and due to increasing exposure toxicological and environmental issues need to be raised. In sharp contrast to the attention paid to new applications of nanosilver, few studies provide only scant insights into the interaction of nanosilver particle with the human body after entering via different portals. Biodistribution, organ accumulation, degradation, possible adverse effects and toxicity are only slowly recognized and this review is focusing on major questions associated with the increased medical use of nanosilver and related nanomaterials.
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              In vitro toxicity of nanoparticles in BRL 3A rat liver cells.

              This study was undertaken to address the current deficient knowledge of cellular response to nanosized particle exposure. The study evaluated the acute toxic effects of metal/metal oxide nanoparticles proposed for future use in industrial production methods using the in vitro rat liver derived cell line (BRL 3A). Different sizes of nanoparticles such as silver (Ag; 15, 100 nm), molybdenum (MoO(3); 30, 150 nm), aluminum (Al; 30, 103 nm), iron oxide (Fe(3)O(4); 30, 47 nm), and titanium dioxide (TiO(2); 40 nm) were evaluated for their potential toxicity. We also assessed the toxicity of relatively larger particles of cadmium oxide (CdO; 1 microm), manganese oxide (MnO(2); 1-2 microm), and tungsten (W; 27 microm), to compare the cellular toxic responses with respect to the different sizes of nanoparticles with different core chemical compositions. For toxicity evaluations, cellular morphology, mitochondrial function (MTT assay), membrane leakage of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH assay), reduced glutathione (GSH) levels, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) were assessed under control and exposed conditions (24h of exposure). Results showed that mitochondrial function decreased significantly in cells exposed to Ag nanoparticles at 5-50 microg/ml. However, Fe(3)O(4), Al, MoO(3) and TiO(2) had no measurable effect at lower doses (10-50 microg/ml), while there was a significant effect at higher levels (100-250 microg/ml). LDH leakage significantly increased in cells exposed to Ag nanoparticles (10-50 microg/ml), while the other nanoparticles tested displayed LDH leakage only at higher doses (100-250 microg/ml). In summary the Ag was highly toxic whereas, MoO(3) moderately toxic and Fe(3)O(4), Al, MnO(2) and W displayed less or no toxicity at the doses tested. The microscopic studies demonstrated that nanoparticle-exposed cells at higher doses became abnormal in size, displaying cellular shrinkage, and an acquisition of an irregular shape. Due to toxicity of silver, further study conducted with reference to its oxidative stress. The results exhibited significant depletion of GSH level, reduced mitochondrial membrane potential and increase in ROS levels, which suggested that cytotoxicity of Ag (15, 100 nm) in liver cells is likely to be mediated through oxidative stress.

                Author and article information

                J Food Drug Anal
                J Food Drug Anal
                Journal of Food and Drug Analysis
                Taiwan Food and Drug Administration
                07 February 2014
                : 22
                : 1
                : 116-127
                Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS 39217, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Jackson State University, 1400 J. R. Lynch Street, Jackson, MS 39217, USA. E-mail address: hongtao.yu@ 123456jsums.edu (H. Yu).
                © 2014 Taiwan Food and Drug Administration

                This is an open access article under the CC-BY-NC-ND license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

                : 30 September 2013
                : 27 December 2013
                Funded by: NSF
                Award ID: CHE-0840450
                Funded by: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
                Award ID: 2G12RR013459-11
                We would like to thank the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Jackson State University-University of California Santa Barbara (JSU-UCSB) Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (DMR-0611539) grant. Core research facilities were supported by grants from the NSF (CHE-0840450) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) (2G12RR013459-11).
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                nanosilver,silver nanoparticle,toxicity mechanism
                nanosilver, silver nanoparticle, toxicity mechanism


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