Silver nanoparticle applications and human health.Clin Chim Acta. 2010 Dec 14; 411(23-24):1841-8.CC
Nanotechnology is rapidly growing with nanoparticles produced and utilized in a wide range of commercial products throughout the world. For example, silver nanoparticles (Ag NP) are used in electronics, bio-sensing, clothing, food industry, paints, sunscreens, cosmetics and medical devices. These broad applications, however, increase human exposure and thus the potential risk related to their short- and long-term toxicity. A large number of in vitro studies indicate that Ag NPs are toxic to the mammalian cells derived from skin, liver, lung, brain, vascular system and reproductive organs. Interestingly, some studies have shown that this particle has the potential to induce genes associated with cell cycle progression, DNA damage and apoptosis in human cells at non-cytotoxic doses. Furthermore, in vivo bio-distribution and toxicity studies in rats and mice have demonstrated that Ag NP administered by inhalation, ingestion or intra-peritoneal injection were subsequently detected in blood and caused toxicity in several organs including brain. Moreover, Ag NP exerted developmental and structural malformations in non-mammalian model organisms typically used to elucidate human disease and developmental abnormalities. The mechanisms for Ag NP induced toxicity include the effects of this particle on cell membranes, mitochondria and genetic material. This paper summarizes and critically assesses the current studies focusing on adverse effects of Ag NPs on human health.