Plant constituents could act as chelating/reducing or capping agents for synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). The green synthesis of AgNPs has been considered as an environmental friendly and cost-effective alternative to other fabrication methods. The present work described the biosynthesis of AgNPs using callus extracts from Taxus yunnanensis
and evaluated their antibacterial activities in vitro and potential cytotoxicity in cancer cells. Callus extracts were able to reduce silver nitrate at 1 mM in 10 min. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) indicated the synthesized AgNPs were spherical with the size range from 6.4 to 27.2 nm. X-ray diffraction (XRD) confirmed the AgNPs were in the form of nanocrystals. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) suggested phytochemicals in callus extracts were possible reducing and capping agents. The AgNPs exhibited effective inhibitory activity against all tested human pathogen bacteria and the inhibition against Gram-positive bacteria was stronger than that of Gram-negative bacteria. Furthermore, they exhibited stronger cytotoxic activity against human hepatoma SMMC-7721 cells and induced noticeable apoptosis in SMMC-7721 cells, but showed lower cytotoxic against normal human liver cells (HL-7702). Our results suggested that biosynthesized AgNPs could be an alternative measure in the field of antibacterial and anticancer therapeutics.
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