Biocompatibility analysis of NIH/3T3 cells exposed to silica-coated silver and silver nanoparticles

Chen En Lin, Lih Rou Rau, Jiunn Woei Liaw, Fu Yin Hsu, Shiao Wen Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

9 Scopus citations


Despite the fact that silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) have been used in widespread applications and that numerous studies have been performed to assess their cytotoxicity on various cell types, there is a lack of information regarding how to reduce the cytotoxicity of Ag NPs. Reduced or inhibited silver ions released from Ag NPs may promote their bioavailability in cells. In this study, we used silica-coated Ag NPs (Ag@SiO2) in toxicity assays in vitro and compared the outcome with Ag NPs. In this study, NIH/3T3 cells were exposed for 30 min, 24 h, and 72 h to increasing concentrations of Ag NPs and Ag@SiO2 NPs. The results showed that the viabilities of the cells were 51% and 41% after exposure to 10 μg/ml and 20 μg/ml of Ag NPs at 24 h post-exposure, respectively. For the same concentrations of Ag@SiO2 particles, the viabilities were 91% and 74%, respectively. In addition, these NPs mostly located to the cytoplasm, not the nucleus, 72 h postexposure. Meanwhile, the cells treated with Ag NPs were less elongated than those treated with Ag@SiO2 NPs. The data indicated that the silica coatings on the Ag NPs significantly decrease the cytotoxicity of the Ag NPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1080-1088
Number of pages9
JournalNanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - 12 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016 American Scientific Publishers. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.


  • Cell viability
  • Imaging
  • Silica-coated silver nanoparticles
  • Silver nanoparticles


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