Evaluation of cytotoxic activity of gold nanoparticles naturally synthesised from South African indigenous medicinal plant extracts
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Nanotechnology has emerged as a promising field in the quest to address health conditions. Green nanotechnology is a fairly new branch of nanotechnology, which aims to produce and utilize nanomaterials in a way that is safe for living organisms and their environment. Plant extracts are increasingly used in the green synthesis of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), which involves the reduction of sodium tetrachloroaurate (III) dehydrate by phytochemicals present in the plant extract. It is probable that the green synthesised AuNPs are more biocompatible than chemically synthesised AuNPs as biomolecules of plant origin are involved in the synthesis process. Therefore, this study aimed to explore various water extracts from indigenous South African plants, which included Perlagonium capitatum, Otholobium bracteolatum, Gerbera linnae, Morrella quercifolia, Searsia lucida, Phylica bubescens, Euclea racemosa, Tetragonia fruticosa, and Searsia glauca for their potential to synthesize AuNPs and to investigate their toxicity towards several microorganisms known to cause skin infections. These organisms play a significant role in delaying the healing of wounds. The antimicrobial properties of nanoparticles are increasing exploited in the production of wound treatments.