Green synthesis of silver nanoparticles, their characterization, application and antibacterial activity

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2013 Oct 21;10(10):5221-38. doi: 10.3390/ijerph10105221.


Our research focused on the production, characterization and application of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), which can be utilized in biomedical research and environmental cleaning applications. We used an environmentally friendly extracellular biosynthetic technique for the production of the AgNPs. The reducing agents used to produce the nanoparticles were from aqueous extracts made from the leaves of various plants. Synthesis of colloidal AgNPs was monitored by UV-Visible spectroscopy. The UV-Visible spectrum showed a peak between 417 and 425 nm corresponding to the Plasmon absorbance of the AgNPs. The characterization of the AgNPs such as their size and shape was performed by Atom Force Microscopy (AFM), and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) techniques which indicated a size range of 3 to 15 nm. The anti-bacterial activity of AgNPs was investigated at concentrations between 2 and 15 ppm for Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus and Kocuria rhizophila, Bacillus thuringiensis (Gram-positive organisms); Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Salmonella typhimurium (Gram-negative organisms) were exposed to AgNPs using Bioscreen C. The results indicated that AgNPs at a concentration of 2 and 4 ppm, inhibited bacterial growth. Preliminary evaluation of cytotoxicity of biosynthesized silver nanoparticles was accomplished using the InQ™ Cell Research System instrument with HEK 293 cells. This investigation demonstrated that silver nanoparticles with a concentration of 2 ppm and 4 ppm were not toxic for human healthy cells, but inhibit bacterial growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemical synthesis*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Green Chemistry Technology*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Metal Nanoparticles / toxicity
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Silver / chemistry*
  • Silver / toxicity
  • Silver Nitrate / chemistry


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Silver
  • Silver Nitrate