Synthesis and therapeutic potential of silver nanomaterials derived from plant extracts

Shohreh Fahimirad*, Fatemeh Ajalloueian, Mansour Ghorbanpour

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewpeer-review


Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have attracted a great deal of attention in the recent years. It is mostly due to their availability, chemical stability, catalytic activity, conductivity, biocompatibility, antimicrobial activity and intrinsic therapeutic properties. There are three major approaches for AgNPs synthesis; i.e., chemical, physical, and biological methods. Today, many of chemical and physical methods have become less popular due to using hazardous chemicals or their high costs, respectively. The biological method has introduced an appropriate substitute synthesis strategy for the traditional physical and chemical approaches. The utilization of the plant extracts as reducing, stabilizing and coating agent of AgNPs is an interesting eco-friendly approach leading to high efficiency. The antimicrobial and anticancer synergistic effects among the AgNPs and phytochemicals will enhance their therapeutic potentials. Surprisingly, although many studies have demonstrated the significant enhancement in cytotoxic activities of plant-mediated AgNPs toward cancerous cells, these nanoparticles have been found nontoxic to normal human cells in their therapeutic concentrations. This review provides a comprehensive insight into the mechanism of plant-mediated AgNPs synthesis, their antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities as well as their applications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Pages (from-to)260-278
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Antimicrobial property
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Environmental toxicity
  • Phyto-nanotechnology
  • Plant-mediated AgNPs
  • Reactive oxygen species


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