Microwave-irradiation-assisted hybrid chemical approach for titanium dioxide nanoparticle synthesis: microbial and cytotoxicological evaluation

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2016 Jun;23(12):12287-302. doi: 10.1007/s11356-016-6440-8. Epub 2016 Mar 15.


Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TNPs) are widely used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. It is used for protection against UV exposure due to its light-scattering properties and high refractive index. Though TNPs are increasingly used, the synthesis of TNPs is tedious and time consuming; therefore, in the present study, microwave-assisted hybrid chemical approach was used for TNP synthesis. In the present study, we demonstrated that TNPs can be synthesized only in 2.5 h; however, the commonly used chemical approach using muffle furnace takes 5 h. The activity of TNP depends on the synthetic protocol; therefore, the present study also determined the effect of microwave-assisted hybrid chemical approach synthetic protocol on microbial and cytotoxicity. The results showed that TNP has the best antibacterial activity in decreasing order from Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, and Staphylococcus aureus. The IC50 values of TNP for HCT116 and A549 were found to be 6.43 and 6.04 ppm, respectively. Cell death was also confirmed from trypan blue exclusion assay and membrane integrity loss was observed. Therefore, the study determines that the microwave-assisted hybrid chemical approach is time-saving; hence, this technique can be upgraded from lab scale to industrial scale via pilot plant scale. Moreover, it is necessary to find the mechanism of action at the molecular level to establish the reason for greater bacterial and cytotoxicological toxicity. Graphical abstract A graphical representation of TNP synthesis.

Keywords: Cell lines; Chemical synthesis; Microbes; Microwave irradiation; Titanium dioxide nanoparticle; Toxicity.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacillus subtilis / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Metal Nanoparticles / administration & dosage*
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Microwaves*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Titanium / chemistry
  • Titanium / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • titanium dioxide
  • Titanium