Anti-Cancer Potential of Green Synthesized Silver Nanoparticles- A Review


Roshan Telrandhe

Department of Pharmaceutics, Dadasaheb Balpande College of Pharmacy, Nagpur- 440037, Maharashtra, India

*Corresponding Author E-mail:



Development of eco-friendly method of Nanoparticle synthesis with silver nitrate by vital steps within the field of technology, Technology involves the craft of materials at the atomic level to achieve distinctive properties which might be appropriately manipulated for the specified applications. Among them silver nanoparticles draw attention thanks to its distinctive physicals, chemicals and biologicals properties. The inexperienced principle routes of synthesizing have emerged as various to beat the limitation of typical ways among that plant and microorganisms area unit majorly exploited. Using plants towards the synthesis of nanoparticles will increase the speed of reduction and stabilization of nanoparticles.  In this review target the inexperienced silver nanoparticles synthesis by exploitation varied plant sources, and its applications in cancer treatment. Usually surgery, therapy and radiation treatment area unit the foremost current therapeutic possibility for cancer. However, these treatments have varied facet effects thanks to lack of targeted delivery and cancer specificity. Herbs area unit staging a comeback and flavoring 'renaissance' is occurring everywhere the world. Currently, on a daily basis employment of flavoring medicines has redoubled due to their ability to treat completely different diseases with fewer facet effects. Completely different scientific approaches area unit being developed of late to deliver flavoring medicines. Novel formulations as well as nanoparticles are developed for the effective delivery of flavoring medication. Plants contain completely different necessary Phytochemical which will be used as a possible treatment for varied ailments as well as cancer.


KEYWORDS: Green synthesis, Herbal medicine, Novel formulation, Silver Nanoparticle.




The cancer may be a category of diseases within which a cell or a bunch of cells displays uncontrolled growth, invasion and metastasis1. Unfortunately, presently out there cancer therapy agents perniciously have an effect on the host cells particularly bone marrow, animal tissue tissues, reticule epithelium system and gonads2. As a result of high death rate related to cancer and since of the intense aspect effects of therapy and radiation, several cancer patients request different and/or complementary strategies of treatment. Metal nanoparticles have tremendous application within the space of chemical change, opto physical science, diagnostic biological probes and show devices bimetal nanoparticles area unit principally ready from philanthropist metals like Gold, Silver, noble metal and Lead. Among the philanthropist metals, silver (Ag) is that the metal of alternative within the field of biological systems, living organisms and medicine3. Many makes {an attempt|tries} are created to use silver nanoparticles as an antitumour agent, and that they have all turned up positive4. it's been stressed over the years that size reduction of nanoparticles play a very important role in up their bio accessibility moreover as compatibility for medical specialty applications in diseases like cancer5. Many plant-derived product are rumored to exhibit potent anti tumor activity against many eutherian mammal and human neoplastic cell lines. engineering deals with the understanding and regulation matter at a dimension of roughly one to one hundred nanometers. It includes the understanding of the elemental physics, chemistry, biology, and technology of metric linear unit scale objects. It additionally includes however such objects is employed in the areas of computation, sensors, Nanostructures materials, biomedical, agricultural, cancer, biotechnology, and in different areas6. Since late 90s, the silver nanoparticles were synthesized by chemical, physical, or chemical science methods7. numerous standard strategies are utilized for the synthesis of nanoparticles. Before adopting these strategies for application in therapeutic purpose, it's vital to guage if those strategies area unit safe, eco-friendly, economic and not long. There area unit 2 strategies utilized for the nanoparticle synthesis like high down and Bottom up method. usually within the high down method bulk materials area unit softened into little particles at the Nanoscale with numerous techniques like grinding, edge which means the nanoparticles area unit created by size reduction from a beginning material8. The traditional approach is to easily eliminate the inflicting agents, or the cells that compose the tumor and finish their Paracin communication effect9. In Bottom up method the nanoparticles area unit designed by connexion atoms, molecules and smaller particles10.


2.0 Preparation of Nanoparticle11

There area unit three strategies for the preparation of nanoparticles. A) Physical, B) Chemical and C) Biological. Traditionally nanoparticles were created solely by physical and chemical strategies. Some common strategies area unit particle sputtering, solvo thermal synthesis, reduction and sol gel technique. the necessity for biogenesis of nanoparticles rose because the physical and chemical processes were price effective. Nature has devised numerous processes for the synthesis of nano and small length scaled inorganic materials that have contributed to the event of comparatively new and for the most part unknown space of analysis supported the biogenesis of Nanomaterials. Hence, for the biogenesis of nanoparticles plant and microorganism sources were used. Various totally different strategies return beneath physical and chemical processes like high energy ball edge, soften commixture, physical vapour deposition, optical maser ablation, sputter deposition, mixture route, sol-gel methodology etc. Among all some strategies that area unit unremarkably employed in physical and chemical processes area unit a) Sol-gel technique that may be a wet chemical technique, wherever two forms of materials or elements, sol and gel area unit used. This methodology is employed for the fabrication of metal oxides from a chemical resolution that acts as a precursor for integrated network (gel) of distinct particles or polymers. The precursor sol will either be deposited on the substrate to make a movie, forged in to an acceptable instrumentation with desired form or wont to synthesize powders. b) Solvo thermal synthesis may be a versatile vasoconstrictive route within which polar solvents fraught and at temperatures on top of their boiling points area unit used. Under solvothermal conditions, the solubility of reactants will increase considerably, enabling reaction to require place at lower temperature. c) Chemical reduction that is that the reduction of Associate in Nursing ionic salts in Associate in Nursing acceptable medium within the presence of wetting agent exploitation reducing agents. a number of the unremarkably used reducing agents area unit metallic element borohydride, reducing agent hydrate and metallic element change state. d) optical maser ablation, is that the processes of removing material from a solid surface by irradiating with a irradiation. At low optical maser flux, the fabric is heated by absorbed optical maser energy and evaporates or sublimates. At higher flux, the fabric is born-again to plasma. By relying upon material's optical properties, and also the optical maser wave length the optical maser energy is absorbed and also the quantity of a fabric is removed. By this methodology carbon nanotubes area unit fashioned. e) gas condensation, wherever totally different metals area unit gaseous in separate crucibles within Associate in Nursing ultra-high chamber crammed with argonon or noble gas gas at typical pressure of few hundred pascals. As a results of lay atomic collisions with gas atoms in chamber, the gaseous metal atoms lose their mechanical energy and condense within the sort of little crystals that accumulate on cryogen crammed cold finger like gold nanoparticles area unit synthesized from gold wires


Fig 1: synthesis of silver nanoparticles and their optimisation techniques12


Characterization of silver nanoparticles Physico-chemical properties are important for behavior, safety, bio-distribution, and effectiveness of nanoparticles. Therefore, silver nanoparticles' characterization is important to gauge the purposeful aspects of synthesized silver nanoparticles.


3.0 Characterization of synthesized silver nanoparticles is done by mistreatment numerous strategies

3.1 UV-VIS Spectroscopy13,14,15,16

UV-VIS spectrometryalysis spectrum analysis| spectrographic analysis|chemical analysis|qualitative analysis is an exceptionally valuable and essential for the characterization of nanoparticles. AgNPs have distinctive optical properties that build them firmly get together with specific wavelengths of sunshine (UV/VIS/IR spectrographic analysis of Nanoparticles in 2012). UV-VIS spectrographic analysis is fast, simple, basic, and specific for numerous types of Nanoparticles, desires simply a quick amount of your time for estimation. In AgNPs, the conductivity band and valence band lie close to one another within which electrons move brazenly. These free electrons supply ascent to a surface plasmon reverberation (SPR) assimilation band, this can be occurring as a result of the mixture swaying of electrons of silver nanoparticles in reverberation with the sunshine wave. The assimilation of AgNPs depends upon the molecule estimate, nonconductor medium, and artificial surroundings. Observation of this peak assigned to a surface plasmon is incredibly a lot of record for various metal nanoparticles with sizes running from two nm to one hundred nm.


3.2 X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)16,17,18

X-ray diffraction (XRD) may be a common analytical technique that has been used for the examination of each atomic and crystal structures, qualitative identification of varied compounds, activity the degree of Crystallinity, quantitative resolution of chemical species, particle sizes, isomorphic substitutions, etc. At the purpose once X-ray lightweight reflects on any crystal, it prompts the event of various optical phenomenon styles, and a pattern reflects physico chemical attributes of crystal structures. During a powder sample, diffracted patterns usually originate from the specimen and replicate its structural physico compound options. During this means, XRD will examine the essential options of an in depth sort of materials, as an example, inorganic impetuses, superconductors, bio molecules, glasses, polymers, etc.


3.3 Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy19,20,21

FTIR will offer exactitude, duplicability, and what is a more perfect signal-to-noise quantitative relation. By utilizing FTIR spectrographic analysis, it becomes attainable to spot very little absorbance changes on the order of 10-3, that performs distinction spectrographic analysis, wherever one might acknowledge the insufficient assimilation teams of much dynamic deposits from the intensive foundation uptake of the total super molecule. FTIR spectrographic analysis is commonly accustomed to see if bio molecules are related to the merger of nanoparticles, that is a lot of articulate in erudite and fashionable analysis. Besides, FTIR has to boot been stretched to the investigation of Nanoscale materials, as an example, affirmation of helpful atoms covalent united onto silver, carbon nanotubes, graphene and gold nanoparticles, or co-operations happening amongst catalyst and substrate amid the chemical procedure. FTIR is associate degree applicable, important, non-invasive, price effective, and basic strategy to acknowledge the role of biological molecules within the reduction of nitrate.


3.4 Transmission microscopy (TEM)21

TEM may be an important, oftentimes used, and demanding system for the characterization of Nanomaterials. It's accustomed to getting quantitative measures of molecule, and to boot grain size, size distribution, and morphology. Magnification of TEM is especially controlled by the quantitative relation of distance between the targets lens and therefore, the sample, and therefore, the distance between objective lens and its image plane.


3.5 Scanning microscopy (SEM)21,22,23

Field of engineering has given a main thrust within the improvement of various high-determination research procedures with a particular finish goal to require in additional regarding Nanomaterials utilizing a light-weight emission vigorous electrons to probe object on a fine scale. Amongst completely different microscopy, SEM may be a surface imaging technique, utterly equipped for resolution numerous molecule sizes, size distributions, Nanomaterials shapes, and therefore, the surface morphology of the particles at the little scale and Nanoscale. Utilizing SEM, we will check the morphology of particles and acquire a bar chart from the image by either by activity and checking the particles physically, or by utilizing specific programming.


3.6 Atomic Force research (AFM) Microscopy22,23

AFM is employed to research the aggregation and dispersion of Nanomaterials, additionally to their size, shape, sorption, and structure; 3 completely different scanning modes are obtainable, together with contact mode, non-contact mode, and intermittent sample contact mode. It also can be used to characterize the Nanomaterials interaction with supported Lipid Bilayer in real time that isn't realizable with current microscopy techniques. AFM doesn't need oxide-free, electrically semi conductive surfaces for measure, doesn't as a result of considerable harm too many sorts of native surfaces, and it will answer to the sub-nanometer scales in binary compound fluids

4.0 Anticancer activity24,25

Cancer is one in all the outstanding diseases that infect each developing moreover because the developed country. Therefore, there's a demand to develop new techniques that are able to scale back the general aspect effects. Investigated the molecular mechanism of silver nanoparticles and located that programmed death was concentration-dependent. Further, the synergistic result on cell death mistreatment U phosphoribosyl transferase expressing cells and non- U phosphoribosyl transferase expressing cells within the presence of anti metabolite was determined. In these conditions, it absolutely was determined that silver nanoparticles not solely induce cell death, however conjointly sensitize cancer cells and conjointly rumored that silver embedded magnetic nanoparticles showed important activity against breast-cancer cells and floating malignant neoplastic disease cells. Plant extract synthesized silver nanoparticles showed a Cytotoxic result on the human respiratory organ cancer cells (A549) that indicates that silver nanoparticles might target cell-specific toxicity.


5.0 Nanoparticles for cancer therapy26,27,28,29,30,31

Cancer is one in all the foremost common issues and high health issue during this world. It's been determined that quite one in 3 folks can develop some variety of cancer in their entire period of time. Based on the origin, there are type of cancer exist, like thyroid, prostate, bladder cancer, urinary organ cancer, pancreatic, carcinoma, melanoma, malignant neoplastic disease with every kind, carcinoma, colon-rectal combined cancer, etc. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors and invasive near elements of the body. Till date a whole cure for this current illness is. however, to be discovered. however, since last 3 decades researchers and clinicians have developed varied strategies to either forestall or inhibit the expansion of cancer. The common styles of cancer treatment are surgery, therapy, actinotherapy, therapy and Photodynamic medical care. Surgery is mostly wont to treat and diagnose the localized cancer just in case of the many tumours, significantly once the cancer has not metastasizes to body fluid nodes or different a part of the body. actinotherapy uses high energy radiation to kill cancer cells by damaging their deoxyribonucleic acid. actinotherapy will be provided when the surgery alone or together with different treatment regimens (chemotherapy). Though actinotherapy is taken into account as a wide accepted mode of cancer treatment, however, it might super sensitized each cancer and traditional death. Therapy is that the use of anti-tumor medicine to treat cancer by busy bodied the expansion ability of cancer cells. Completely different chemotherapeutical medicine will be utilized in a prescribed dose in numerous sort of cancer, that targets explicit proliferation pathways. Immunotherapy is treatment that uses the host own system to assist fight cancer. Photodynamic medical care could be a treatment that uses special medicine, referred to as photo sensitizing agents, together with light-weight to kill cancer cells. Supported the chemical structure and mechanism by that they act, the therapy medicine will be divided into four groups: 1) Alkalyting agents that harm deoxyribonucleic acid to stop the expansion of cancer cells, 2) opposed metabolites that interfere with the replication of deoxyribonucleic acid or transcription of polymer by work the traditional building block of polymer and deoxyribonucleic acid and hens forth will cause regular cell cycle arrest. 3) Anti-tumor antibiotics that embrace anthracyclines, actinomycin-D 4) Mitotic inhibitors that are principally plant organic compound derived from natural product that stop the cellular division and henceforward inhibits the expansion of cell cycle. As therapy might reach all the part together with cancer cells, there is also risk of prevalence of aspect effects throughout treatment To avoid this recently, scientists have discovered nanoparticles which may be used as targeted drug delivery for cancer medical care wherever solely the cancer cells can destroy while not poignant healthy traditional cells. It's conjointly wont to scale back the aspect effects moreover on win high localized concentration. Due to their large applications within the medical specialty space, these are getting used as carriers for hydrophobic medicine, diagnostic and therapeutic functions. additionally, to the present, they will even be wont to scale back toxicity of a therapeutic drug. As nanoparticles are utilized in varied functions, however their use in antineoplastic delivery is additional as a result of the medicine that are certain with nanoparticles are simply soluble and are able to penetrate deep in organs and tissues. That's why nanoparticles are enjoying the key role to develop medical specialty against cancer. Also, these are utilized in fluorescent biological labels (diagnostic purpose), drug & sequence delivery, detection of pathogens, detection of proteins, inquiring of deoxyribonucleic acid structure, tissue engineering, growth damaging via heating (Hyperthermia), separation & purification of biological molecules and cells, magnetic resonance imaging distinction sweetening, phagokinetic studies, etc. This review focuses on the synthesis, and characterization of silver nanoparticles' mistreatment natural plant extracts for the treatment of cancer. Silver (Ag) could be a metallic element, and it's applicable in medicines. Thanks to its distinctive properties. As there are varied strategies like soil-gel method, chemical precipitation, reverse particle, Hydrothermal methodology and biological strategies, etc. Are wont to synthesize silver nanoparticles (SNP) However, biological strategies are eco-friendly, value effective and do not involve the utilization of Cytotoxic chemicals. Silver NPs aresynthesized from completely different healthful plants and are applied in pharmaceutical & biological field.


6.0 Applications of plant mediate synthesized silver Nanoparticles as anti-cancer therapeutics:29,30,31,32,33,34

Rapid synthesis methodology of silver nanoparticles' victimization fruits, leaves, seeds and root extract of genus Citrullus colosynthis was evaluated against four totally different humans neoplastic cell lines of various origins (ref). The cell lines utilized in this study square measure MCF-7 (Breast carcinomas), HepG2 (Hepatocellular carcinomas) and Caco-2 and HCT-116 (Colon carcinomas). Silver nanoparticles characterization was performed victimization UV-Vis spectroscopic analysis and TEM analysis. It absolutely was found that the nanoparticles square measure of irregular shapes with a median size 562.4 nm, however, the common mean size of silver nanoparticles of totally different components of C.colocynthis like fruits, leaves, seeds, and roots were nineteen.267 nm, 16.578 nm, 13.376 nm, 7.398 nm severally. The cell viability assay of those silver nanoparticles on human cancer cells showed that Hep-G2 cell line and HCT-116 cell line was the foremost sensitive cell line with IC-50 twenty-one.2 µg/ml, 22.4 µg/ml wherever as Caco-2 cell line was the foremost resistant cell line towards Cytotoxic activity (mention IC50). Silver nanoparticles synthesized with oregano extracts were tested by victimization leaves against human carcinoma cell A549, wherever IC50 was achieved at a hundred µg/ml. During this study the silver nanoparticle size was characterized with UV-Vis spectroscopic analysis wherever the dimensions of silver nanoparticles were found to be 63-85 nm. Another plant tree was wont to synthesize silver nanoparticles from its leaves and its metastatic tumor result was tested against human carcinoma cell line MCF-7 with IC50 twenty µg/ml. The dimensions of silver nanoparticles were twenty-two nm confirmed by victimization UV-Vis spectral analysis and scanning microscope (SEM). Biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles were performed victimization Cissus quadrangularis because of its earlier reported antimicrobial and metastatic tumor activity. It absolutely was ascertained that the dimensions of silver nanoparticles once characterizing with UV-Vis spectroscopic analysis and TEM to be 5-30 nm. The stem half was wont to extract silver nanoparticles and its metastatic tumor result was studied against human cancer of the liver cell line Hep-2 with IC50 sixty-four µg/ml. The liquid extract of marine micro-algea algae Ulva asterid dicot genus were wont to synthesize silver nanoparticles and tested against human neoplastic cell lines Hep-2, MCF-7, HT-29 because of its earlier reported antibacterial drug, antiviral and metastatic tumor activity. Once synthesis of silver nanoparticles it absolutely was monitored by UV-Vis spectroscopic analysis, Fourier transmission infrared (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction(XRD) analysis. The size was found to be 20-56 nm. Then the on top of neoplastic cell lines proliferation was repressed by silver nanoparticles with IC50 twelve.5 µg/ml, thirty-seven µg/ml and forty-nine µg/ml severally. The event of reliable and eco-friendly method for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles from dilleniid dicot genus oleracea was performed to visualize the metastatic tumor result against MCF-7. The total cauliflower florets were wont to acquire a size of forty-eight millimeter silver nanoparticles as characterized by UV-Vis spectroscopic analysis, FTIR, XRD and SEM. These silver nanoparticle was found to inhibit the expansion of MCF-7 cell proliferation with the IC50 price a hundred ninety.501 µg/ml. Liquid extraction of algae Gelidiella sp. was wont to synthesize silver nanoparticles wherever the dimensions of that nanoparticle make up my mind to be 40-50 nm followed by victimization UV-Vis spectroscopic analysis, energy dispersive spectroscopic analysis (EDS), Fourier transmission infrared (FTIR) and scanning microscopy (SEM) analysis. Then the silver nanoparticles were wont to value Cytotoxic activity of human neoplastic cell line Hep-2 and because the neoplastic cell line was considerably repressed with Ic50 price of thirty-one.50 µg/ml. From table a pair of it may be ascertained that SNPs from liquid extracts of fruits and roots of C.colosynthis and algae Ulva asterid dicot genus extracts against Hep-G2 square measures the foremost effective in terms of metastatic tumor activity in breast and cancer of the liver cells. But the liquid extracts from oregano and Cissus quadrangularis plant shows non-significant result against neoplastic cell lines.


Table 1: List of plants mediated AgNPs as anti-cancer activity.

Sr No

Name of Plants

Source for nanoparticle (AgNPs) synthesis

Human (Cancer cell lines)

Silver-Nanoparticle (AgNPs) Size [nm ]




Brassica oleracea33

Cauliflower florets





Seaweed Gelidiella sp34

Whole seaweed





Piper nigrum35


MCF-7, Hep-2










HCT-116, MCF-7,





HCT116=21.2 & Hep-G2=22.4,

HepG2 =17.2 & MCF-7= 22.4,



Origanum vulgare37







Cissus quadrangularis38






-seaweed Ulva lactuca39

Whole micro algae

Hep-2, MCF-7, HT-29


Hep-G2=12.5, MCF-7=37 & HT-29=49


7.0 Future prospective:

The nanoparticles synthesis with silver nitrate, victimization of plant extract as vital side of applied science, and therefore, the advantages of nanoparticles in numerous sectors. Inexperienced synthesis of nanoparticles aren't time overwhelming compared to the different process. the second leading reason behind death within the world is cancer by WHO. As cancer is abnormal style of tissue growth, cell divisions occur chop-chop in associate autonomous fashion.



Biological silver nanoparticles synthesize in nano-biotechnology space has enhanced its importance to make eco-friendly; value effective, stable nanoparticles, and their advantages in medicines, agriculture and physics area unit wider. From selection analysis on applied science for silver nanoparticles it's found that it's safer and higher by victimization natural plants. flavourer medication are recently obtaining a lot of attention due to their potential to treat the majority diseases. However, many issues like poor solubility, poor bio availability, low oral absorption, instability, and unpredictable toxicity of flavourer medicines limit their use. so as to beat such issues, nanoparticles will play an role. Hence, totally different nanoparticles together with chemical compound nanoparticles, liposomes, proliposomes, solid lipoid nanoparticles and micro emulsions utilization show potential to deliver flavourer medicines with higher cancer medical aid.



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Received on 08.08.2019            Accepted on 20.09.2019           

© Asian Pharma Press All Right Reserved

Asian J. Pharm. Tech.  2019; 9 (4):260-266.

DOI: 10.5958/2231-5713.2019.00043.6