3 Biotech

, 9:125 | Cite as

Silver nanoparticles engineered by thermal co-reduction approach induces liver damage in Wistar rats: acute and sub-chronic toxicity analysis

  • Nandita Dasgupta
  • Shivendu RanjanEmail author
  • Chidambaram Ramalingam
  • Mansi Gandhi
Original Article


Recently, nanotechnology applications have increased tremendously in consumer products. However, it has been observed that these nanoparticles can cause a potential risk to the environment as well as human health. In the present manuscript, we have analyzed acute and sub-chronic toxicity of engineered silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) by assessing the impact on Wistar rats. AgNPs were synthesized by a novel approach—thermal co-reduction—with spherical shape and a uniform size distribution of 60 nm. The estimated LD50 value was observed to be more than 2000 mg/kg bw in acute toxicity studies. Sub-chronic toxicity indicated impairment of liver and kidney enzymes and various hematological and biochemical parameters. Tissue distribution studies indicated the target organ for accumulation is liver after treatment with AgNP. Particle deposition and congestion was observed in major organs-though, and heart and pancreatic tissues were not affected even by the higher doses. On the basis of the observations of this study, it is concluded that up to 40 mg/kgbw is a safer dose of AgNPs (60 nm, engineered by thermal co-reduction approach) and further research will be required to validate the long-term accumulation in body. In addition, it can also be considered by policymakers for the safer use of AgNPs.


Thermal co-reduction approach Silver nanoparticle Wistar rats Acute toxicity Sub-chronic toxicity Histopathology 



SR is acknowledging Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology (DBT, India) for the funding with Grant number—BT/PR10414/PFN/20/961/2014. SR is acknowledging Veer Kunwar Singh Memorial Trust, Chapra, Bihar, India, for partial support—VKSMT/SN/NFNA/0011.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors are declaring no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nano-food Research Group, Instrumental and Food Analysis Laboratory, Industrial Biotechnology Division, School of BioSciences and TechnologyVellore Institute of TechnologyVelloreIndia
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology, Institute of Engineering and TechnologyDr. APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (Formerly Uttar Pradesh Technical University)LucknowIndia
  3. 3.Faculty of Engineering and the Built EnvironmentUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa
  4. 4.School of Advanced SciencesVellore Institute of TechnologyVelloreIndia

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