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Analysis of the Toxic Mode of Action of Silver Nanoparticles Using Stress-Specific Bioluminescent Bacteria


  • This research was supported by the Ministry of Environment as “The Eco-technopia 21 project”. The authors are grateful for this support.


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Every cell has a silver lining! The toxicity of Ag nanoparticles is investigated using a panel of recombinant bioluminescent bacteria. The presence of the nanoparticles leads to the production of a superoxide radical (see figure). Furthermore, the Ag nanoparticles damage the cellular membranes, causing a disruption in the ion efflux system. Thus, the cells cannot effectively extrude the Ag ions and, hence, Ag nanoparticles cause more damage than do Ag ions.