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Comparative Study of Genotoxicity of Silver and Gold Nanoparticles Prepared by the Electric Spark Dispersion Method

Evgenii Plotnikov, Sergey Zhuravkov, Andrew Gapeyev, Vladimir Plotnikov, Irina Martemianova, Dmitrii Martemianov.


Objective: There is plenty of information dedicated to nanomaterial toxicity, but it is often contradictory. This work presents results of the comparative investigation of silver and gold nanoparticles genotoxicity and genotoxic effect of water medium after the spark dispersion process.
Material and methods: The nanoparticles were produced in water by the modified energy-efficient electric spark dispersion method. The comet assay, transmission electron microscopy, DLS spectroscopy and thermal desorption of nitrogen (BET method) were used for the investigation.
Results: The silver nanoparticles showed a genotoxic effect which appeared at concentration of 0.03 mg/ml and above. The application of gold nanoparticles did not lead to a significant DNA damage at concentrations range of 0.01 - 0.03 mg/ml. However, a notable level of genotoxicity was observed at concentrations of gold nanoparticles about 0.1 mg/ml. Supernatant water medium (with trace of Au and Ag metals) following the spark dispersion process showed no genotoxic action.
Conclusion: Accordingly, the testing of the nanoparticles produced by the electric spark dispersion in water revealed more expressed genotoxic effect of silver nanoparticles in comparison with the gold ones.

Key words: genotoxicity; silver nanoparticles; electric spark dispersion; gold nanoparticles; comet assay; leukocytes

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