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Nanotoxicology

Using gold nanorods core/silver shell nanostructures as model material to probe biodistribution and toxic effects of silver nanoparticles in mice.


PMID 23837638

Abstract

The aim of this work was to probe the biodistribution and toxic effects of silver nanoparticles (NPs) with powerful anti-bacterial and anti-virus activities. For this purpose, novel silver NPs with gold nanorod (NR) core and silver shell (Au@Ag NRs) were developed and employed as a model material. The inner gold core provided an excellent internal reference for tracking the NRs in vivo. After subcutaneous injection of Au@Ag NRs, silver and gold contents in the subcutis and organs were examined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry at different time points within 28 days. Histological analysis, physiological function and complement faction 3 (C3) and 5a (C5a) measurement were performed over time to reveal the toxic effect of Au@Ag NRs in vivo. Experimental results showed that majority of the Au@Ag NRs remained in the injection site except for a small amount migrating into the lymph nodes. The silver shell was dissolved in the subcutaneous tissue and released silver ions rapidly, which resulted in detectable silver accumulation in most of the organs. The accumulated silver ions in the kidney not only interacted with the kidney cells membrane but also induced a rapid increase of complement fraction C3 followed by a significant consumption and C3a and C5a production significantly in the serum, which resulted in kidney oxidative damage and eventually led to the morphological changes and filtration function impairment of the glomerulus. The released silver ions also caused oxidative injury of subcutaneous tissue in the injection site.

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