Antimicrobial, anticancer and catalytic activities of green synthesized Avocado seed extract-gold nanoparticles
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Nature through billions of years of trial and error has produced an immeasurable amount of natural systems like plants, birds and animals. The intelligence of nature is hidden in these natural systems and researchers are turning towards “Nature’s intelligence” to find inspiration and advance novelty in the development of nanomaterials. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have unique optical, electronic and physicochemical features which has gained them popularity and widespread exploitation in various applications. The conventional methods used for AuNPs synthesis employs toxic chemicals which makes these NPs unsafe for biomedical applications. Hence, there is a search for new, ‘green’ and more cost effective methods for AuNPs synthesis. Plant extracts are regarded as a highly desirable system for nanoparticle synthesis due to their tremendous capability to produce a wide range of phytochemicals that can act as reducing agents. The main goal of this study was to synthesize AuNPs in a cost effective manner without the use of toxic chemicals in the synthesis process. Avocado seeds which are an agricultural waste by-product were used for the biosynthesis of AuNPs. The study reports on the synthesis optimization, characterization and activities of the biogenic AuNPs. The avocado seed extract mediated - AuNPs (AvoSE-AuNPs) were optimized by varying reaction parameters and characterized by UV-visible, Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM), Zetasizer and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). The formation of AvoSE-AuNPs had an absorption maximum at 534 nm. HRTEM and DLS confirmed that the NPs were polydispersed and present in different shapes. The presence of phytochemical constituents on the AvoSE-AuNPs were confirmed by FTIR. Their potential antibacterial activity was tested on bacterial strains known to exhibit resistance to a number of current antibiotics. The catalytic activity of AvoSE-AuNPs was also assessed as a means to contribute to the development of new methods aimed at alleviating organic pollutants such as nitrophenols in the environment. The AvoSE-AuNPs demonstrated excellent catalytic activity in the reduction of 4-NP by NaBH4 as shown by the rapid decrease in the nitrophenolate absorption band at 400 nm and the appearance of new absorption band at 298 nm, revealing the formation of the 4-aminophenol. Furthermore, the rate constants calculated demonstrated that the reaction occurs faster in the presence AvoSEAuNPs. The AvoSE-AuNPs showed low significant cytotoxicity. Cell cycle analysis was conducted to further investigate the apparent exhibited toxicity of the AvoSE-AuNPs. The results showed that in both cell lines treated with AvoSE-AuNPs and AvoSE there was a ii | P a g e disruption in the regulation of cell cycle. Cell cycle analysis helped improve understanding of the low cytotoxicity observed by the MTT assay results. The results presented in this study clearly demonstrate the feasibility of using AvoSE for the synthesis of AuNPs. This study demonstrated that AvoSE mediated AuNPs synthesis is a greener alternative as it abides by the green chemistry principles. Furthermore, the study outcomes contributed to minimizing environmental pollution by finding use for agricultural waste and thus ultimately adding value to the field.