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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2012, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (5): 546-554.doi: 10.3736/jcim20120510

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Rapid green synthesis of silver nanoparticles from silver nitrate by a homeopathic mother tincture Phytolacca Decandra

Soumya Sundar Bhattacharyya,Jayeeta Das,Sreemanti Das,Asmita Samadder,Durba Das,Arnab De,Saili Paul,Anisur Rahman Khuda-Bukhsh#br#   

  1. Cytogenetics and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Kalyani, Kalyani 741235, IndiaCytogenetics and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Kalyani, Kalyani 741235, India
  • Received:2011-12-05 Accepted:2012-01-30 Online:2012-05-20 Published:2018-06-15

Objective: To examine if a homeopathic mother tincture (Phytolacca Decandra) is capable of precipitating silver nanoparticles from silver nitrate (AgNO3) and to characterize the biosynthesized nanoparticles for evaluating their biological activities.

Methods: A total of 100 mg of AgNO3 was added to 20 mL of Milli-Q water and stirred vigorously. Then 5 mL of the homeopathic mother tincture of Phytolacca Decandra (ethanolic root extract of Phytolacca decandra) was added and stirred continuously. Reduction took place rapidly at 300 K and completed in 10 min as shown by stable light greenish-yellow color of the solution which gave colloid of silver nanoparticles. The colloid solution was then centrifuged at 5 000×g to separate the nanoparticles for further use. The nanoparticles were characterized by spectroscopic analysis, particle size analysis and zeta potential measurements, and morphology was analyzed by atomic force microscopy. The drug-DNA interaction was determined by circular dichroism spectrophotometry and melting temperature profiles by using calf thymus DNA as the target. The biological activities were determined using a cancer cell line A549 in vitro and using bacteria Escherichia coli and fungus Saccharomyces cerevisiae as test models.

Results: Phytolacca Decandra precipitated silver nanoparticles in ambient conditions. The nanoparticles had 91 nm particle size, with polydispersity index of 0.119 and zeta potential of –15.6 mV. The silver nanoparticles showed anticancer and antibacterial properties, but no clear antifungal properties.

Conclusion: This could be a novel environment-friendly method to biosynthesize silver nanoparticles using a cost-effective, nontoxic manner. The homeopathic mother tincture may utilize this property of nano-precipitation in curing diseases or disease symptoms.

Key words: silver nitrate, metal nanoparticles, Phytolacca decandra, homeopathy, biosynthetic pathways


Name of primers Sequence of primers
Caspase 3 Forward: 5′-AGGGGTCATTTATGGGACA-3′

Figure 1

Surface images by atomic force microscopy with average particle size by DLS analysis of SPs A: 2D image of SPs; B: 3D image of SPs; C: Average particle size of SPs obtained from DLS data; D: Positive and negative control experimental setup to prepare nanoparticles from silver nitrate (a: Normal silver nitrate without any treatment; b: Silver nitrate plus placebo (45% ethanol; negative control); c: Silver nitrate plus Phytolacca Decandra; d: Silver nitrate plus ascorbic acid (positive control)). SP: silver nanoparticle; DLS: dynamic light scattering."

Figure 2

Ultraviolet-visible spectral image of silver nanoparticles"

Figure 3

Circular dichroism spectrum of calf thymus DNA incubated with or without silver nanoparticles"

Figure 4

Melting curves of calf thymus DNA in presence and absence of silver nanoparticlesCT: calf thymus"

Figure 5

Cell viability of A549 cells with different concentrations of SPs Data are presented as mean±standard deviation, n=3; *P<0.05, vs control group. SP: silver nanoparticle."

Figure 6

Surface morphology of A549 cells (Scanning electron microscopy, ×3 500) C: A549 cells without any treatment; SP1: 80 μg/mL of SPs; SP2: 100 μg/mL of SPs. SP: silver nanoparticle."

Figure 7

PI staining (A) and DAPI staining (B) of A549 cells (Fluorescence microscopy, ×200) C: A549 cells without any treatment; SP1: 80 μg/mL of SPs; SP2: 100 μg/mL of SPs. SP: silver nanoparticle; PI: propidium iodide; DAPI: 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole."

Figure 8

DNA damage tested by comet assay (Fluorescence microscopy, ×400) C: A549 cells without any treatment; SP1: 80 μg/mL of SPs; SP2: 100 μg/mL of SPs. SP: silver nanoparticle."

Figure 9

DNA fragmentation tested by agarose gel electrophoresis Ln1: A549 cells without any treatment; Ln2: 80 μg/mL of SPs; Ln3: 100 μg/mL of SPs. SP: silver nanoparticle."

Figure 10

RT-PCR analysis of G3PDH and caspase 3 Ln1: A549 cells without any treatment; Ln2: 80 μg/mL of SPs; Ln3: 100 μg/mL of SPs. SP: silver nanoparticle. RT-PCR: reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction; G3PDH: glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase."


Concentration of SPs (mg/L) Antibacterial effects of SPs Antifungal effects of SPs
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