Background: Increasing use of silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) in various products is resulting in a greater likelihood of human exposure to these materials. Nevertheless, little is still known about the influence of carbohydrates on the toxicity and cellular uptake of nanoparticles. Methods: Ag-NPs functionalized with three different monosaccharides and ethylene glycol were synthesized and characterised. Oxidative stress and toxicity was evaluated by protein carbonylation and MTT assay, respectively. Cellular uptake was evaluated by confocal microscopy and ICP-MS. Results: Ag-NPs coated with galactose and mannose were considerably less toxic to neuronal-like cells and hepatocytes compared to particles functionalized by glucose, ethylene glycol or citrate. Toxicity correlated to oxidative stress but not to cellular uptake. Conclusions: Carbohydrate coating on silver nanoparticles modulates both oxidative stress and cellular uptake, but mainly the first has an impact on toxicity. These findings provide new perspectives on modulating the bioactivity of Ag-NPs by using carbohydrates.
Journal of Nanobiotechnology12, no. 1, 59 (19 December 2014).