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Bacterial cytotoxicity of the silver nanoparticle related to physicochemical metrics and agglomeration properties



Silver particles are used in various consumer products due to their positive effects, which include sterilization and antibacterial properties. However, it has been reported that silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have strongly acute toxic effects on various cells. Therefore, the cytotoxicity of AgNPs was investigated, using Escherichia coli as a model organism, from the standpoint of three key metrics (ionic ratio, size, and agglomeration) that are the most relevant physicochemical properties. The findings indicated that cytotoxicity is depressed by the agglomeration of AgNPs. The order of toxic sensitivity was as follows: total Ag concentration > ionic ratio > size, the order of which was inversely related to the extent of agglomeration. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:2154–2160. © 2010 SETAC