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Issue 2, 2016
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A systematic review of evidence for silver nanoparticle-induced mitochondrial toxicity

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Abstract

Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are extensively used for their antibacterial properties in a diverse set of applications, ranging from the treatment of municipal wastewater to infection control in hospitals. However, the properties of AgNPs that render them conducive to bactericidal use in commerce may influence their potential toxicity to non-bacterial organisms. Based on the physiological and phylogenetic similarities between bacteria and mitochondria within eukaryotic cells, mitochondria are a likely intracellular target of AgNP toxicity. Mitochondria-specific outcomes of AgNP exposures have been identified in multiple cell types, including (but not limited to) loss of membrane potential, inhibition of enzymes involved in oxidative phosphorylation, and changes in calcium sequestration. However, the biological significance of mitochondrial toxicity due to AgNP exposure is currently incompletely understood. This review examines the existing evidence of mitochondrial toxicity induced by AgNP exposure, with discussions of the role of the physicochemical properties of the nanoparticles themselves in mitochondrial toxicity. The impacts of potentially differential cell- and tissue-specific significance of AgNP-induced mitochondrial dysfunction are also discussed.

Graphical abstract: A systematic review of evidence for silver nanoparticle-induced mitochondrial toxicity

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Aug 2015, accepted on 25 Jan 2016 and first published on 26 Jan 2016


Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C5EN00187K
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2016,3, 311-322
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    A systematic review of evidence for silver nanoparticle-induced mitochondrial toxicity

    L. L. Maurer and J. N. Meyer, Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2016, 3, 311
    DOI: 10.1039/C5EN00187K

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