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Comparison of cytocompatibility and anticancer properties of traditional and green chemistry-synthesized tellurium nanowires

Authors Vernet Crua A, Medina D, Zhang B, González MU, Huttel Y, García-Martín JM, Cholula-Díaz JL, Webster TJ

Received 29 May 2018

Accepted for publication 3 October 2018

Published 3 May 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 3155—3176

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S175640

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang


Ada Vernet Crua,1–3,* David Medina,1,2,* Bohan Zhang,1,2 María Ujué González,4 Yves Huttel,5 José Miguel García-Martín,4 Jorge L Cholula-Díaz,6 Thomas J Webster1,2

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA; 2Nanomedicine Science and Technology Center, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA; 3Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Tarragona, Spain; 4Instituto de Micro y Nanotechnologia, IMN-CNM, CSIC (CEI UAM+CSIC), Tres Cantos, Spain; 5Materials Science Factory, Instituto de Ciencias de Materiales, ICMN-CSIC, Madrid, Spain; 6School of Engineering and Sciences, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, NL, Mexico

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Tradiditional physicochemical approaches for the synthesis of compounds, drugs, and nanostructures developed as potential solutions for antimicrobial resistance or against cancer treatment are, for the most part, facile and straightforward. Nevertheless, these approaches have several limitations, such as the use of toxic chemicals and production of toxic by-products with limited biocompatibility. Therefore, new methods are needed to address these limitations, and green chemistry offers a suitable and novel answer, with the safe and environmentally friendly design, manufacturing, and use of minimally toxic chemicals. Green chemistry approaches are especially useful for the generation of metallic nanoparticles or nanometric structures that can effectively and efficiently address health care concerns.
Objective: Here, tellurium (Te) nanowires were synthesized using a novel green chemistry approach, and their structures and cytocompatibility were evaluated.
Method: An easy and straightforward hydrothermal method was employed, and the Te nanowires were characterized using transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and optical microscopy for morphology, size, and chemistry. Cytotoxicity tests were performed with human dermal fibroblasts and human melanoma cells (to assess anticancer properties). The results showed that a treatment with Te nanowires at concentrations between 5 and 100 µg/mL improved the proliferation of healthy cells and decreased cancerous cell growth over a 5-day period. Most importantly, the green chemistry -synthesized Te nanowires outperformed those produced by traditional synthetic chemical methods.
Conclusion: This study suggests that green chemistry approaches for producing Te nanostructures may not only reduce adverse environmental effects resulting from traditional synthetic chemistry methods, but also be more effective in numerous health care applications.

Keywords: nanowires, tellurium, biocompatibility, anticancer, green chemistry

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