Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 36, Issue 8, pp 1131–1139 | Cite as

Green synthesis and characterization of selenium nanoparticles and its augmented cytotoxicity with doxorubicin on cancer cells

  • CH. Ramamurthy
  • K. S. Sampath
  • P. Arunkumar
  • M. Suresh Kumar
  • V. Sujatha
  • K. Premkumar
  • C. ThirunavukkarasuEmail author
Original Paper


Green synthesis of selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) was achieved by a simple biological procedure using the reducing power of fenugreek seed extract. This method is capable of producing SeNPs in a size range of about 50–150 nm, under ambient conditions. The synthesized nanoparticles can be separated easily from the aqueous sols by a high-speed centrifuge. These selenium nanoparticles were characterized by UV–Vis spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and elemental analysis by X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF). Nanocrystalline SeNPs were obtained without post-annealing treatment. FTIR spectrum confirms the presence of various functional groups in the plant extract, which may possibly influence the reduction process and stabilization of nanoparticles. The cytotoxicity of SeNPs was assayed against human breast-cancer cells (MCF-7). It was found that SeNPs are able to inhibit the cell growth by dose-dependent manner. In addition, combination of SeNPs and doxorubicin shows better anticancer effect than individual treatments.


Cancer Cytotoxicity Fenugreek Nanoparticles Selenium 



The authors acknowledge the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, New Delhi, India for the financial support in the form DST-FIST. The authors thank Central Instrumentation Facility, Pondicherry University. C. H. Ram expresses his special thanks to CSIR, India for the financial assistance in the form of CSIR, SRF, (Acknowledgement No:09/559/(0084)/2012 EMR-I).

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • CH. Ramamurthy
    • 1
  • K. S. Sampath
    • 1
  • P. Arunkumar
    • 2
  • M. Suresh Kumar
    • 3
  • V. Sujatha
    • 4
  • K. Premkumar
    • 2
  • C. Thirunavukkarasu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyPondicherry UniversityPuducherryIndia
  2. 2.Cancer Genetics and Nanomedicine Laboratory, Department of Biomedical ScienceBharathidasan UniversityTiruchirappalliIndia
  3. 3.Centre for BioinformaticsPondicherry UniversityPuducherryIndia
  4. 4.Department of ChemistryPeriyar UniversitySalemIndia

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