Author(s): Setyawati MI, Yuan X, Xie J, Leong DT
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Abstract How silver nanomaterials (Ag NMs) could induce toxicity has been debated heatedly by many researchers. We utilized Ag nanoclusters (Ag NCs) with the same size and ligand protection but different core surface speciation. Ag(+)-rich NCs (Ag(+)-R NCs) and their counterpart, the reduced Ag(0)-rich NCs (Ag(0)-R NCs) are synthesized to represent possible dichotomous stages in silver nanomaterial degradation process. Here we show Ag(0)-R NCs induce higher cellular toxicity when compared to Ag(+)-R NCs. This cellular toxicity is brought about via the modulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells as a result of the more rapid release of Ag species from Ag(0)-R NCs and subsequent oxidation into Ag(+) in the lysosomal compartment. The weaker Ag(0)-R bond greatly potentiated the release of Ag species in the acidic and enzymatic processes within the lysosomes. Since lysosomes are absent in bacteria, increasing silver nanomaterials stability may lower toxicity in mammalian cells whilst not reducing their efficacy to fight bacteria; this redesign can result in a safer silver nanomaterial. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Biomaterials
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology