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Real-time monitoring of the Trojan-horse effect of silver nanoparticles by using a genetically encoded fluorescent cell sensor

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Abstract

Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are widely incorporated into commercial products due to their antimicrobial properties. As a consequence, concerns about the adverse effects induced by AgNPs to humans and the environment need to be carefully examined. The existing literature reveals that AgNPs exhibit certain toxic effects, but it remains to be proved whether AgNPs or the ionic silver (Ag+) released from AgNPs are the main toxic species. Here, a genetically encoded fluorescent protein sensor with high affinity to Ag+ was developed. The resulting sensor, MT2a-FRET, was found to be ratiometric, sensitive and selective toward only Ag+ but inert against AgNPs. This makes this sensor a potential useful tool for monitoring the real-time intracellular dissolutions of AgNPs. Our data supported that AgNPs display the “Trojan-horse” mechanism, where AgNPs are internalized by cells and undergo dissolution intracellularly. We further found that cells exhibited a detoxification ability to remove active Ag+ from cells in 48 hours.

Graphical abstract: Real-time monitoring of the Trojan-horse effect of silver nanoparticles by using a genetically encoded fluorescent cell sensor

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Aug 2017, accepted on 19 Mar 2018 and first published on 21 Mar 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR05975B
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article
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    Real-time monitoring of the Trojan-horse effect of silver nanoparticles by using a genetically encoded fluorescent cell sensor

    F. You, W. Tang and L. L. Yung, Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR05975B

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