Cellular imaging and bactericidal mechanism of green-synthesized silver nanoparticles against human pathogenic bacteria

Sathish Sundar Dhilip Kumar, Nicolette Nadene Houreld, Eve M Kroukamp, Heidi Abrahamse
Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology. B, Biology 2018, 178: 259-269
In recent years, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have attracted significant attention in medicinal, biomedical, and pharmaceutical research owing to their valuable physicochemical and antibacterial properties. Leaf sap extract (LSE) from Aloe arborescens can be used as an active ingredient for different biological applications, including wound healing. In this study, we have investigated the use of LSE from A. arborescens as a reducing, stabilizing and capping agent to produce AgNPs during the so called "green synthesis" (G-AgNPs). The objective of this study was to prepare, characterize and evaluate the potential of G-AgNPs against human pathogenic bacteria for the intended use as treatment of infected wounds. When the mixture of silver nitrate solution and LSE was exposed to direct sunlight it yielded a rapid color change from colorless to reddish-brown, indicating the formation of G-AgNPs. Physicochemical characterization such as Single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, High resolution transmission electron microscopy and surface chemistry studies (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-Ray diffraction) revealed a small size in the range of 38±2nm, smooth surface and existence of LSE on the G-AgNPs. G-AgNPs possessed good antibacterial activity against both Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. The flow cytometry study revealed the increased percentage of dead cells treated by G-AgNPs through cell membrane damage, and it was further confirmed by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Thus, the present study reveals that the novel G-AgNPs demonstrated effective antibacterial properties against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial strains and shows great potential for its use in the treatment of pathogen infected wounds.

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