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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 535796, 10 pages
Research Article

Cytotoxicity of Biologically Synthesized Silver Nanoparticles in MDA-MB-231 Human Breast Cancer Cells

1Department of Animal Biotechnology, Konkuk University, 1 Hwayang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-701, Republic of Korea
2GS Centre for Life Sciences, Sundarapuram, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641024, India

Received 4 January 2013; Revised 5 June 2013; Accepted 6 June 2013

Academic Editor: B. E. Kemp

Copyright © 2013 Sangiliyandi Gurunathan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have been used as an antimicrobial and disinfectant agents. However, there is limited information about antitumor potential. Therefore, this study focused on determining cytotoxic effects of AgNPs on MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and its mechanism of cell death. Herein, we developed a green method for synthesis of AgNPs using culture supernatant of Bacillus funiculus, and synthesized AgNPs were characterized by various analytical techniques such as UV-visible spectrophotometer, particle size analyzer, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The toxicity was evaluated using cell viability, metabolic activity, and oxidative stress. MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells were treated with various concentrations of AgNPs (5 to 25 μg/mL) for 24 h. We found that AgNPs inhibited the growth in a dose-dependent manner using MTT assay. AgNPs showed dose-dependent cytotoxicity against MDA-MB-231 cells through activation of the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), caspase-3, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, eventually leading to induction of apoptosis which was further confirmed through resulting nuclear fragmentation. The present results showed that AgNPs might be a potential alternative agent for human breast cancer therapy.