Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 103, Issue 7, pp 2913–2935 | Cite as

Biological synthesis of metallic nanoparticles (MNPs) by plants and microbes: their cellular uptake, biocompatibility, and biomedical applications

  • Fiaz Ahmad
  • Noreen Ashraf
  • Tayyba Ashraf
  • Ren-Bin Zhou
  • Da-Chuan YinEmail author


Metallic nanoparticles (MNPs) with their diverse physical and chemical properties have been applied in various biomedical domains. The increasing demand for MNPs has attracted researchers to develop straightforward, inexpensive, simple, and eco-friendly processes for the enhanced production of MNPs. To discover new biomedical applications first requires knowledge of the interactions of MNPs with target cells. This review focuses on plant and microbial synthesis of biological MNPs, their cellular uptake, biocompatibility, any biological consequences such as cytotoxicity, and biomedical applications. We highlighted the involvement of biomolecules in capping and stabilization of MNPs and the effect of physicochemical parameters particularly the pH on the synthesis of MNPs. Recently achieved milestones to understand the role of synthetic biology (SynBiol) in the synthesis of tailored MNPs are also discussed.


Plant and microbial synthesis Metallic nanoparticles Biocompatibility Cellular uptake Cytotoxicity Biomedical applications 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. U1632126).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Space Bioscience & Biotechnology, School of Life SciencesNorthwestern Polytechnical UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Government General Hospital, Ghulam Muhammad AbadFaisalabadPakistan

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