The Double-edged Effect of Silver Nanoparticles is Determined by Their Physical Characteristics

Alaa Fehaid, Akiyoshi Taniguchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Nanotechnology is a rapidly advancing field with significant potential. Nanoparticles (NPs) are very small in diameter, ranging from 0.1 to 100 nm [1], and silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have unique antimicrobial, optical, and biological properties, along with high electrical conductivity. AgNPs are widely used in many fields, including medicine, food, and industry [5]. Therefore, assessing the risks and safety of AgNPs is very important. In this review, we discuss the double-edged sword of AgNPs and clarify the different cellular responses as determined by their characteristics. Coating, size, and concentration are critical factors that affect cellular uptake and AgNP interactions. Different NP coatings affect the agglomeration and dissolution rate, which then affect cellular responses, revealing that uncoated AgNPs are more toxic than those that are coated. Also, smaller NPs have a higher surface area, ionization rate, and cytotoxic effects. The cellular uptake of AgNPs occurs in a concentration-dependent manner, which also affects cellular responses. Taken together, we conclude that specifying AgNP characteristics is vital to understanding the cellular responses that they might induce.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-56
Number of pages8
JournalNano Biomedicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Cellular responses
  • Coatings
  • Concentration
  • Silver nanoparticles
  • Size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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