Broad Spectrum Anti-Bacterial Activity and Non-Selective Toxicity of Gum Arabic Silver Nanoparticles
MetadataShow full item record
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are the most commercialized nanomaterials and presumed to be biocompatible based on the biological effects of the bulk material. However, their physico-chemical properties differ significantly to the bulk materials and are associated with unique biological properties. The study investigated the antimicrobial and cytotoxicity effects of AgNPs synthesized using gum arabic (GA), sodium borohydride (NaBH4), and their combination as reducing agents. The AgNPs were characterized using ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry (UV-Vis), dynamic light scattering (DLS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The anti-bacterial activity was assessed using agar well diffusion and microdilution assays, and the cytotoxicity effects on Caco-2, HT-29 and KMST-6 cells using MTT assay. The GA-synthesized AgNPs (GA-AgNPs) demonstrated higher bactericidal activity against all bacteria, and non-selective cytotoxicity towards normal and cancer cells. AgNPs reduced by NaBH4 (C-AgNPs) and the combination of GA and NaBH4 (GAC-AgNPs) had insignificant anti-bacterial activity and cytotoxicity at ≥50 µg/mL. The study showed that despite the notion that AgNPs are safe and biocompatible, their toxicity cannot be overruled and that their toxicity can be channeled by using biocompatible polymers, thereby providing a therapeutic window at concentrations that are least harmful to mammalian cells but toxic to bacteria.