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Molecular Basis of Nanotoxicity and Interaction of Microbial Cells with Nanoparticles

[ Vol. 2 , Issue. 1 ]


Rajeshwari Sinha and S.K. Khare   Pages 64 - 72 ( 9 )


There has been a quantum increase in the use of nanoparticles (NPs) in all spheres of life. Their increased presence in the environment necessitates a basic understanding about their potential impact on the environment and interactions with biological systems. Toxic effects of NPs, dubbed as “nanotoxicity” are being increasingly evidenced. Studies on animals and cell culture have amply demonstrated loss of cell viability, tissue damage and inflammatory reactions. A bigger threat is however perceived for the microbial community owing to the accumulation of NPs.

Study of nanotoxicity in microbial systems holds importance because (i) the discharge of NPs in water and soil might affect the microbial diversity (ii) antimicrobial activity of NPs could be usefully exploited for application in medical science (iii) their interactions with membrane proteins, DNA and various biomolecules inside the cells need to be understood. The review focuses on microbial nanoparticle interactions with a view to analyze their effects on microbes and environment. Interactive effects of NPs on bacterial cells have been emphasized as unicellular model system. The article comprehensively encompasses the current level of understanding of the emerging domain of nanotoxicology.


Antibacterial, antimicrobial, bactericidal, bacteriostatic, biocidal, carbon nanotubes, cytotoxicity, Gram negative, Gram positive, lipopolysaccharide, nanoparticles, nanotoxicity, peptidoglycan, photomutagenic, reactive oxygen species, silver, zinc oxide


Enzyme and Microbial Biochemistry Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110016, India.

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