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J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2016 May;16(5):4444-9.

Green Synthesis of Metal Nanoparticles Using Sprout Plants: Pros and Cons.


A critical need in the field of nanotechnology is the development of a sustainable and eco-friendly process for the synthesis of metallic nanoparticles (NPs). To accomplish this, the use of live plants becomes essential for the production of low-cost, energy-efficient, and nontoxic metallic NPs. In this study, we tried in-vivo synthesis (green synthesis) of silver and gold NPs using seeds of bean, radish, and alfalfa, which were grown hydroponically in aqueous solutions containing metal salts, 20-25 nm sized NPs were found on the inner surfaces of the plants' vascular cylinders and cortex. The amounts of NPs taken up by the intracellular systems were clearly dependent on the exposure time and concentration of the metal salts. Although these results regarding the green synthesis of NPs on the growth of plant species are somewhat interesting and effective, metal salts adversely affected the root growth of the plants. Silver ions in the growth media showed a more negative impact on root growth compared to gold ions. Therefore, even though biosynthesis of metal NPs using live plants is considered as green synthesis, we have to consider their phytotoxicity on plant growth.


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