ABSTRACT: The incorporation of nanoparticles (NPs) in industrial and biomedical applications has increased significantly in recent years, yet their hazardous and toxic effects have not been studied extensively. Here, we studied the effects of 24 nm silver NPs (AgNPs) on a panel of bacteria isolated from medical devices used in a hospital intensive care unit. The cytotoxic effects were evaluated in macrophages and the expression of the inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-10 and TNF-α were quantified. The effects of NPs on coagulation were tested in vitro in plasma-based assays. We demonstrated that 24 nm AgNPs were effective in suppressing the growth of clinically relevant bacteria with moderate to high levels of antibiotic resistance. The NPs had a moderate inhibitory effect when coagulation was initiated through the intrinsic pathway. However, these NPs are cytotoxic to macrophages and are able to elicit an inflammatory response. Thus, beneficial and potential harmful effects of 24 nm AgNPs on biomedical devices must be weighed in further studies in vivo. From the Clinical Editor: The authors of this study demonstrate that gallic acid reduced 24 nm Ag NPs are effective in suppressing growth of clinically relevant antibiotic resistant bacteria. However, these NPs also exhibit cytotoxic properties to macrophages and may trigger an inflammatory response. Thus, the balance of beneficial and potential harmful effects must be weighed carefully in further studies.
Nanomedicine: nanotechnology, biology, and medicine 06/2011; 8(3):328-36. · 5.44 Impact Factor