Journal of biomedical materials research. Part A

Shape and surface chemistry effects on the cytotoxicity and cellular uptake of metallic nanorods and nanospheres.

PMID 26053238


Metallic nanoparticles (such as gold and silver) have been intensely studied for wound healing applications due to their ability to be easily functionalized, possess antibacterial properties, and their strong potential for targeted drug release. In this study, rod-shaped silver nanorods (AgNRs) and gold nanorods (AuNRs) were fabricated by electron beam physical vapor deposition (EBPVD), and their cytotoxicity toward human skin fibroblasts were assessed and compared to sphere-shaped silver nanospheres (AgNSs) and gold nanospheres (AuNSs). Results showed that the 39.94 nm AgNSs showed the greatest toxicity with fibroblast cells followed by the 61.06 nm AuNSs, ∼556 nm × 47 nm (11.8:1 aspect ratio) AgNRs, and the ∼534 nm × 65 nm (8.2:1 aspect ratio) AuNRs demonstrated the least amount of toxicity. The calculated IC50 (50% inhibitory concentration) value for the AgNRs exposed to fibroblasts was greater after 4 days of exposure (387.3 μg mL(-1)) compared to the AgNSs and AuNSs (4.3 and 23.4 μg mL(-1), respectively), indicating that these spherical metallic nanoparticles displayed a greater toxicity to fibroblast cells. The IC50 value could not be measured for the AuNRs due to an incomplete dose response curve. The reduced cell toxicity with the presently developed rod-shaped nanoparticles suggests that they may be promising materials for use in numerous biomedical applications.