Impact of surface functionalization on the toxicity and antimicrobial effects of selenium nanoparticles considering different routes of entry


Selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) were first designed as nutritional supplements, but they are attractive also for use in diagnostic and therapeutic systems owing to their biocompatibility and protective effects. This study aimed to examine if different SeNPs stabilization strategies affect their (i) antimicrobial activity against bacteria Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus and yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and (ii) toxicity to human cells of different biological barriers i.e., skin, oral and intestinal mucosa. For surface stabilization, polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), poly-L-lysine (PLL) and polyacrylic acid (PAA) were used rendering neutral, positively and negatively charged SeNPs, respectively. The SeNPs (primary size ∼80 nm) showed toxic effects in human cells in vitro and in bacteria S. aureus, but not in E. coli and yeast S. cerevisiae. Toxicity of SeNPs (24 h IC50) ranged from 1.4 to >100 mg Se/L, depending on surface functionalization (PLL>PAA>PVP) and was not caused by ionic Se. At subtoxic concentrations, all SeNPs were taken up by all human cell types, induced oxidative stress response and demonstrated genotoxicity. As the safety profile of SeNPs was dependent not only on target cells (mammalian cells, bacteria, yeast) but also on surface functionalization, these aspects should be considered during development of novel SeNPs-based biomedical products.

Authors: Emerik Galić, Krunoslav Ilić, Sonja Hartl, Carolin Tetyczka, Kaja Kasemets, Imbi Kurvet, Mirta Milić, Rinea Barbir, Barbara Pem, Ina Erceg, Maja Dotuor Sikirić, Ivan Pavičić, Eva Roblegg, Anne Kahru, Ivana Vinković Vrček
; Full Source: Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association 2020 Jul 29;111621. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2020.111621.