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394
Journal of Biopesticides 3(1 Special Issue) 394 - 399 (2010)Antimicrobial activity of silver nanoparticles
Biogenic silver nanoparticles by
Solanum torvum 
and their promising antimicrobial activity
K. Govindaraju, S.Tamilselvan, V. Kiruthiga and G. Singaravelu
*
ABSTRACT
Nanotechnology is gaining tremendous impetus in the present century due to its capability of modulatingmetals into their nanosize. Research in nanotechnology highlights the possibility of green chemistry pathwaysto produce technologically important nanomaterials. This report focuses on the biological synthesis of silvernanoparticles using
Solanum torvum
and its antimicrobial activity. Characterization of newly synthesized silvernanoparticles was made using UV-vis spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-raydiffraction (XRD) and High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope (HR-TEM) studies. Resistance toantimicrobial agents by pathogen has emerged in recent years and is a major health problem.
Solanum torvum
mediated silver nanoparticles showed high antimicrobial activity against bacterial and fungal pathogens. Ourresults suggest that
S. torvun
mediated silver nanoparticles could act as an effective antimicrobial agent andprove as an alternative for the development of new antimicrobial agents to combat resistance problem.
Key words:
Solanum torvum,
silver nanoparticles, antimicrobial assay
INTRODUCTION
Nanotechnology refers broadly to a field of appliedscience and technology whose unifying theme is thecontrol of matter on the atomic and molecular scale (AnimaNanda and Saravanan, 2009). Metal nanoparticles havereceived considerable attention in recent years becauseof their unique properties and potential applications incatalysis (Kamat, 2002), plasmonics (Maier
et al
., 2001),optoelectronics (Gracias
et al
., 2002), biological sensor(Mirkin
et al
., 1996; Han
et al.,
2001) and pharmaceuticalapplications (Chan and Nie, 1998). Their performancedepends critically on their size, shape and composition.Chemical synthesis methods are available for the synthesisof metal nanoparticles, many of the reactants and startingmaterials used in these methods are toxic and potentiallyhazardous in concern with biological applications(Ankamwar
et al
., 2005). Consequently, an array of biological synthesis protocols leading to the formationof nanostructures have been reported using bacteria(Kalimuthu
et al
., 2008; Anima Nandha and Saravanan,2009), fungi (Bhainsa and Souza, 2006; Vigneshwaran
et al
., 2006; Basavaraja
et al.,
2008; Kathirasen
et al.,
2009) and plants (Chandran
et al.,
2006; Huang
et al.,
2007; Kasthuri
et al.,
2009a and 2009b; Singaravelu
et al
.,2009). In this context it is noteworthy to mention thatsynthesis of inorganic nanoparticles by biologicalsystems makes nanoparticles more biocompatible andenvironmentally benign. We have recently reported onthe biological synthesis of gold nanoparticles using aphytochemcial (20
β
-acetoxy-2
-3
β
-dihydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic acid) and their PTP 1B inhibitory activity and inanother attempt biological synthesis of silver, gold andAg shell-Au core nanoparticles using single cell protein
Spirulina platensis
and seaweed
Sargassum wightii
havebeen achieved (Singaravelu
et al
., 2007). Keeping thebiological perspectives in mind, the results reported hereinencompass the biological synthesis of silver nanoparticlesand their antimicrobial activity.
MATERIALS AND METHODSBiosynthesis of silver nanoparticles
Silver nitrate was purchased from Qualigens FineChemicals, Mumbai, India.
Solanum torvum
leaves werecollected from Vellore zone, Tamilnadu, India. UV–visiblespectra were recorded on Shimadzu UV-1601spectrophotometer containing double beam in identicalcompartments each for reference and test solution fittedwith 1-cm path length quartz cuvettes. The FT-IR spectrawere recorded using Perkin-Elmer FT-IR spectro-photometer. The AgNO
3
reduced
Solanum torvum
solution was centrifuged at 9,000 rpm for 25 minindividually. The deposited residue was dried and grinnedwith KBr to obtain pellet for the purpose of FT-IR analysis.X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements of the bioreduced
© JBiopest. 169
 
395
silver solution drop-coated onto glass substrates weredone on a Siefert X-diffractometer instrument operatingat a voltage of 40 kV and a current of 30mA with Cu K
radiation. Transmission electron microscopic images werecollected with a JEOL 3010 UHR TEM equipped with aGatan Imaging Filter (Ankamwar
et al
., 2005).The leaf extract (1mL) was added to 50mL of 10
–3
M AgNO
3
aqueous solution and kept at room temperature. The timeof addition of extract into the aqueous AgNO
3
solutionwas considered as the start of the reaction. Undercontinuous stirring conditions, after 10 min, the lightyellow colour of AgNO
3
solution gradually changes tobrownish yellow colour indicates the formation of silvernanoparticles. The bioreduction of AgNO
3-
ions in solutionwas monitored by periodic sampling of aliquots (0.1mL)of aqueous component and measuring UV-vis spectra of the solution. The nanoparticles were characterized andconfirmed by FT-IR, XRD and HR-TEM analysis(Chandran
et al
., 2006).
Antimicrobial assay
The silver nanoparticles synthesized using
S. torvum
wastested for antimicrobial activity by agar well-diffusionmethod against pathogenic bacteriae
Pseudomonasaeruginosa
,
Staphylococcus aureus
, pathogenic fungi
 Aspergillus flavus
and
 Aspergillus niger 
. The purecultures of bacterial and fungal pathogens weresubcultured on nutrient agar and Potato Dextrose Agar(PDA) respectively. Wells of 10 mm diameter were madeon nutrient agar and PDA plates using gel puncture. Eachstrain was swabbed uniformly onto the individual platesusing sterile cotton swabs. Using a micropipette, differentconcentrations of the sample of nanoparticles solution(10 µl, 20 µl and 50 µl) was poured onto each well on allplates. After incubation at 37°C for 24 hours, the differentlevels of zone of inhibition of bacteriae were measured.The fungal plates were kept at room temperature for 48hrs and the clear zones were measured.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Synthesis and application of nanomaterials is in thelimelight in modern nanotechnology. The presentinvestigation demonstrates the formation of the silvernanoparticles by the reduction of the aqueous silver metalions during exposure to the plant extract
S. torvum.
Formation of silver nanoparticles was monitored by UV-vis spectroscopy. Present results disclose that thereduction of the AgNO
3
ions and formation of silvernanoparticles was completed in 60 min of reaction. Thecolourless solution changed into brownish yellow colourwhich indicates the formation of silver nanoparticles. TheUV-vis spectra shows no evidence of absorption in therange of 400-800 nm for the plant extract and the plantextract solution exposed to AgNO
3
ions shows a distinctabsorption at around 434 nm which corresponds to SPRof silver nanoparticles established at 420 nm (Mulvaney,1996) (Fig 1). It is observed that the silver surface plasmonresonance band occurs initially at 430 nm after completionof the reaction, the wavelength of the surface plasmonresonance band stabilizes at 434 nm. In order to assessthe stability of the newly formed silver nanoparticles UV-vis spectral analysis was made which shows that thesurface plasmon absorbance did not change even aftersix months indicating the stability of the silvernanoparticles.
Figure 1.
UV–vis spectra recorded as a function of thereaction time for the reaction of 1 mM AgNO
3
solutionwith
S. torvm
leaf extract.FTIR
 
measurements were carried out to identify thepossible biomolecules responsible for the stabilization of the newly synthesized silver nanoparticles. Fig 2arepresents the FTIR spectrum of the plain
S. torvum
leaf extract shows peaks at 1642, 1380, 1316, 1261 and 1020cm
-1
. The peaks observed for
S. torvum
stabilized silvernanoparticles at 1648, 1535, 1450 and 1019 cm
-1
. The peak at 1450 cm
-1
(-COO-) of carboxylate ions is responsible forstabilizing the silver nanoparticles (Fig 2b).The X- ray diffraction patterns obtained for the silvernanoparticles synthesized using
S. torvum
leaf extract isshown in Figure 3. The presence of intense peaks of silvernanoparticles corresponding to the 1 1 1, 2 0 0 and 2 2 0,which are indexed as crystalline silver face-centered cubic(fcc) phase (Leff 
et al
., 1996).
 
According to Scherer’sformula (Jeffrey, 1971), t = 0.9l/ B cos
θ
, an average crystalsize (t) of the silver nanoparticles can be estimated fromthe X- ray wavelength of the Cu K
α
radiation (l=1.54A
o
),the Bragg angle (
θ
), and the width of the peak at half height(maximum) (B) in radians. The average size of the silver
K. Govindaraju
et al.
 
396
Figure 2 a and b FTIR spectrum of (a) Plain
S.torvum
leaf extract and (b) silver nanoparticles synthesized using
S.torvum
leaf extractFigure 2 b
 
Figure 2 ananoparticles as calculated using the peak at 38
o
(which isthe characteristic (111) peak of silver) is 14 nm. This resultis quite comparable with what is observed from the TEMimage of the reduction of AgNO
3
by
S .torvum
extract.
Figure 3.
X-ray diffraction pattern of the silver nanoparticles.Silver nanoparticles were synthesized from 1mM silvernitrate-treated
S. torvm
High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HR-TEM) has provided further insight in the morphology andsize details of the silver nanoparticles.A representativeHR-TEM image recorded from the silver nanoparticles isshown in Fig 4 a. The silver nanoparticles are spherical instructure. All the nanoparticles are well separated and noagglomeration was noticed. From the HR-TEM images weobtained the average size of silver nanoparticles of 14nm. The histogram of the silver nanoparticles sizedistribution (Fig.4b) was obtained by measuring the sizeof about 125 silver nanoparticles.
Figure 4a.
TEM image of silver nanoparticles by
S. torvum
 
0204060801007nm12nm14nm19nm
Particles diameter (nm)
   P  a  r   t   i  c   l  e  s   d   i  s   t  r   i   b  u   t   i  o  n   (   %   )
Figure 4b.
Percentage distribution of 
S. torvum
mediatedsilver nanoparticlesSynthesis and characterization of nanomaterials havebecome an area of intense research over the last few years.Several material scientists have reported the preparationAntimicrobial activity of silver nanoparticles

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