Reducing Environmental Toxicity of Silver Nanoparticles through Shape Control.


Journal Article

The use of antibacterial silver nanomaterials in consumer products ranging from textiles to toys has given rise to concerns over their environmental toxicity. These materials, primarily nanoparticles, have been shown to be toxic to a wide range of organisms; thus methods and materials that reduce their environmental toxicity while retaining their useful antibacterial properties can potentially solve this problem. Here we demonstrate that silver nanocubes display a lower toxicity toward the model plant species Lolium multiflorum while showing similar toxicity toward other environmentally relevant and model organisms (Danio rerio and Caenorhabditis elegans) and bacterial species (Esherichia coli, Bacillus cereus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) compared to quasi-spherical silver nanoparticles and silver nanowires. More specifically, in the L. multiflorum experiments, the roots of silver nanocube treated plants were 5.3% shorter than the control, while silver nanoparticle treated plant roots were 39.6% shorter than the control. The findings here could assist in the future development of new antibacterial products that cause less environmental toxicity after their intended use.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gorka, DE; Osterberg, JS; Gwin, CA; Colman, BP; Meyer, JN; Bernhardt, ES; Gunsch, CK; DiGulio, RT; Liu, J

Published Date

  • August 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 49 / 16

Start / End Page

  • 10093 - 10098

PubMed ID

  • 26146787

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26146787

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1520-5851

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0013-936X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/acs.est.5b01711


  • eng