Biological activity of green-synthesized silver nanoparticles depends on the applied natural extracts: A comprehensive study

Andrea Rónavári, Dávid Kovács, Nóra Igaz, C. Vágvölgyi, I. Boros, Zoltán Kónya, Ilona Pfeiffer, Mónika Kiricsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)


Due to obvious disadvantages of the classical chemical methods, green synthesis of metallic nanoparticles has attracted tremendous attention in recent years. Numerous environmentally benign synthesis methods have been developed yielding nanoparticles via low-cost, eco-friendly, and simple approaches. In this study, our aim was to determine the suitability of coffee and green tea extracts in green synthesis of silver nanoparticles as well as to compare the performance of the obtained materials in different biological systems. We successfully produced silver nanoparticles (C-AgNP and GT-AgNP) using coffee and green tea extracts; moreover, based on our comprehensive screening, we delineated major differences in the biological activity of C-AgNPs and GT-AgNPs. Our results indicate that although GT-AgNPs exhibited excellent antimicrobial activity against all the examined microbial pathogens, these particles were also highly toxic to mammalian cells, which limits their potential applications. On the contrary, C-AgNPs manifested substantial inhibitory action on the tested microbes but were nontoxic to human and mouse cells, indicating an outstanding capacity to discriminate between potential pathogens and mammalian cells. These results clearly show that the various green materials used for stabilization and for reduction of metal ions have a defining role in determining and fine-tuning the biological activity of the obtained nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-883
Number of pages13
JournalInternational journal of nanomedicine
Publication statusPublished - Jan 27 2017


  • Antimicrobial activity
  • Green synthesis
  • Silver nanoparticles
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry

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