Comparative antimicrobial and anticancer activity of biologically and chemically synthesized zinc oxide nanoparticles toward breast cancer cells

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Biotechnology, Saveetha School of Engineering, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, Saveetha Nagar, Thandalam, Chennai – 602 105

2 Hubert Enviro Care Systems (P) Ltd., Thiru Vi Ka Industrial Estate, Guindy, Chennai–600 032, Tamil Nadu, India

3 Department of Biotechnology, Sree Sastha Institute of Engineering and Technology, Chennai–600 123, Tamil Nadu, India

4 Department of Biotechnology, Vivekanandha College of Engineering for Women, Elayampalayam, Tiruchengode – 637 210, Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, India

5 Department of Biological Sciences, School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, The Copperbelt University, Riverside, Jambo Drive, P.O. Box. 21692, Kitwe, Zambia

6 Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

7 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Division of Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Mekelle University, Mekelle-1871, Ethiopia


Objective(s): This study was aimed to investigate the synthesis of novel zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) using Solanum trilobatum leaf extract as the reducing and capping agents, called green synthesized zinc oxide nanoparticles (GS-ZnONPs).
Materials and Methods: Chemically synthesized zinc oxide nanoparticles (CS-ZnONPs) were synthesized using precipitation method with zinc nitrates hexahydrate as reducing precursors. The synthesized GS- and CS-ZnONPs were examined and characterized using UV-visible spectroscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Scanning Electron microscopy (SEM), Energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDAX), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, respectively.
Results: GS-ZnONPs exhibited a higher zone of inhibition of 28.6 mm, 27.63 mm, and 29.33 mm for Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella pneumoniae, respectively compared to CS-ZnONPs. From the growth inhibition experiments with E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus, it was evident that GS-ZnONPs have exhibited higher growth inhibition as compared to CS-ZnONPs. The IC50 for CS-ZnONPs in MCF-7 cell line was found at 136.16 µg/mL and for GS-ZnONPs was found at 85.05 µg/mL. The proliferation of cancer cells were directly proportional to the concentration of NPs. As compared to CS-ZnONPs, GS-ZnONPs have exhibited higher cytotoxic effects on MCF-7 cell line.
Conclusion: It was concluded that GS-ZnONPs represented much enhanced anticancer and antibacterial activity compared to CS-ZnONPs.


1.Zak AK, Razali R, Majid WH, Darroudi M. Synthesis and characterization of a narrow size distribution of zinc oxide nanoparticles. Int J Nanomedicine. 2011; 6: 1399-1403.
2.Porter AL, Youtie J. How interdisciplinary is nanotechnology? J Nanopart Res. 2009; 11(5): 1023-1041.
3.Khan I, Saeed K, Khan I. Nanoparticles: Properties, applications and toxicities. Arabian J Chem. 2019; 12(7): 908-931.
4.Kim M, Lee J-H, Nam J-M. Plasmonic photothermal nanoparticles for biomedical applications. Adv Sci. 2019; 6(17): 1900471.
5.Segets D, Gradl J, Taylor RK, Vassilev V, Peukert W. Analysis of optical absorbance spectra for the determination of ZnO nanoparticle size distribution, solubility, and surface energy. ACS Nano. 2009; 3(7): 1703-1710.
6.Fan Z, Lu JG. Zinc oxide nanostructures: synthesis and properties. J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2005; 5(10): 1561-1573.
7.Yang Y, Guo W, Zhang Y, Ding Y, Wang X, Wang ZL. Piezotronic effect on the output voltage of P3HT/ZnO micro/nanowire heterojunction solar cells. Nano Lett. 2011; 11(11): 4812-4817.
8.Yakimova R, Selegård L, Khranovskyy V, Pearce R, Lloyd Spetz A, Uvdal K. ZnO materials and surface tailoring for biosensing. Front Biosci. 2012; 4(1): 254-278.
9.Liu D, Wu W, Qiu Y, Yang S, Xiao S, Wang QQ, Ding L, Wang J. Surface functionalization of ZnO nanotetrapods with photoactive and electroactive organic monolayers. Langmuir. 2008; 24(9): 5052-5059.
10.Jiang J, Pi J, Cai J. The advancing of zinc oxide nanoparticles for biomedical applications. Bioinorg Chem Appl. 2018; 2018: 18.
11.Kolodziejczak-Radzimska A, Jesionowski T. Zinc oxide-from synthesis to application: a review. Materials. 2014; 7(4): 2833-2881.
12.Rane AV, Kanny K, Abitha VK, Thomas S. Chapter 5 - Methods for Synthesis of Nanoparticles and Fabrication of Nanocomposites. In: Mohan Bhagyaraj S, Oluwafemi OS, Kalarikkal N, Thomas S, editors. Synthesis of Inorganic Nanomaterials: Woodhead Publishing; 2018. p. 121-139.
13.Amendola V, Meneghetti M. Laser ablation synthesis in solution and size manipulation of noble metal nanoparticles. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2009; 11(20): 3805-3821.
14.Yang L. 2 - Nanotechnology-enhanced metals and alloys for orthopedic implants. In: Yang L, editor. Nanotechnology-Enhanced Orthopedic Materials. Oxford: Woodhead Publishing; 2015. p. 27-47.
15.Edelstein AS. Nanomaterials. In: Buschow KHJ, Cahn RW, Flemings MC, Ilschner B, Kramer EJ, Mahajan S, Veyssiere P. editors. Encyclopedia of Materials: Science and Technology. Oxford: Elsevier; 2001. p. 5916-5927.
16.Sols, Gels, and Organic Chemistry. In: Carter CB, Norton MG, editors. Ceramic Materials: Science and Engineering. New York, NY: Springer New York; 2007. p. 400-411.
17.Komarneni S. Nanophase materials by hydrothermal, microwave-hydrothermal and microwave-solvothermal methods. Curr Sci. 2003; 85(12): 1730-1734.
18.Parhi P, Kramer J, Manivannan V. Microwave initiated hydrothermal synthesis of nano-sized complex fluorides, KMF3 (K = Zn, Mn, Co, and Fe). J Mater Sci. 2008; 43(16): 5540-5545.
19.Latha PS, Kannabiran K. Antimicrobial activity and phytochemicals of Solanum trilobatum Linn. Afr J Biotechnol. 2006; 5(23): 2402-2404.
20.Premalatha S, Elumalai K, Jeyasankar A. Mosquitocidal properties of Solanum trilobatum L.(Solanaceae) leaf extracts against three important human vector mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae). Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2013; 6(11): 854-858.
21.Ramar M, Manikandan B, Marimuthu PN, Raman T, Mahalingam A, Subramanian P, Karthick S, Munusamy A. Synthesis of silver nanoparticles using Solanum trilobatum fruits extract and its antibacterial, cytotoxic activity against human breast cancer cell line MCF 7. Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc. 2015; 140: 223-228.
22.Xiang L, Wang Y, Yi X, He X. Steroidal alkaloid glycosides and phenolics from the immature fruits of Solanum nigrum. Fitoterapia. 2019; 137: 104268.
23.Rajkumar S, Jebanesan A. Oviposition deterrent and skin repellent activities of Solanum trilobatum leaf extract against the malarial vector Anopheles stephensi. J Insect Sci. 2005; 5: 15.
24.Ramakrishna S, Ramana K, Mihira V, Kumar BP. Evaluation of anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of Solanum trilobatum. Linn Roots. Res J Pharm Biol Chem Sci. 2000; 2(1): 701-705.
25.Divyagnaneswari M, Christybapita D, Michael RD. Enhancement of nonspecific immunity and disease resistance in Oreochromis mossambicus by Solanum trilobatum leaf fractions. Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2007; 23(2): 249-259.
26.Sahu J, Rathi B, Koul S, Khosa R. Solanum trilobatum (Solanaceae)-an overview. J Nat Rem. 2013; 13(2): 76-80.
27.Hong R, Pan T, Qian J, Li H. Synthesis and surface modification of ZnO nanoparticles. Chem Eng J. 2006; 119(2): 71-81.
28.Raoufi D. Synthesis and microstructural properties of ZnO nanoparticles prepared by precipitation method. Renewable Energy. 2013; 50: 932-937.
29.Arunachalam K, Arun L, Annamalai S, Arunachalam A. Potential anticancer properties of bioactive compounds of Gymnema sylvestre and its biofunctionalized silver nanoparticles. Int J Nanomed. 2015; 10: 31-41.
30.Arunachalam KD, Annamalai SK, Arunachalam AM. One step green synthesis of phytochemicals mediated gold nanoparticles from Aegle marmales for the prevention of urinary catheter infection. Int Jounal Pharm Pharm Sci. 2014; 6: 700-706.
31.Elavazhagan T. Memecylon edule leaf extract mediated green synthesis of silver and gold nanoparticles. Int J Nanomed. 2011; 6: 1265-1278.
32.Gawade V, Gavade N, Shinde H, Babar S, Kadam A, Garadkar K. Green synthesis of ZnO nanoparticles by using Calotropis procera leaves for the photodegradation of methyl orange. J Mater Sci: Mater Electron. 2017; 28(18): 14033-14039.
33.Chen L, Batjikh I, Hurh J, Han Y, Huo Y, Ali H, Li JF, Rupa EJ, Ahn JC, Mathiyalagan R, Yang DC. Green synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles from root extract of Scutellaria baicalensis and its photocatalytic degradation activity using methylene blue. Optik. 2019; 184: 324-329.
34.Sharmila G, Thirumarimurugan M, Muthukumaran C. Green synthesis of ZnO nanoparticles using Tecoma castanifolia leaf extract: Characterization and evaluation of its antioxidant, bactericidal and anticancer activities. Microchem J. 2019; 145: 578-587.
35.Santhoshkumar J, Kumar SV, Rajeshkumar S. Synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles using plant leaf extract against urinary tract infection pathogen. Resour-Effic Technol. 2017; 3(4): 459-465.
36.Gunalan S, Sivaraj R, Rajendran V. Green synthesized ZnO nanoparticles against bacterial and fungal pathogens. Prog Nat Sci: Mater Int. 2012; 22(6): 693-700.
37.Dipankar C, Murugan S. The green synthesis, characterization and evaluation of the biological activities of silver nanoparticles synthesized from Iresine herbstii leaf aqueous extracts. Colloids Surf, B. 2012; 98: 112-119.
38.Arunachalam KD, Arun LB, Annamalai SK, Arunachalam AM. Biofunctionalized gold nanoparticles synthesis from Gymnema sylvestre and its preliminary anticancer activity. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2014; 6(4): 423-430.
39.Arunachalam K, Annamalai S. Chrysopogon zizanioides aqueous extract mediated synthesis, characterization of crystalline silver and gold nanoparticles for biomedical applications. Int J Nanomed. 2013; 8: 2375-23784.
40.Arunachalam K, Annamalai S, Hari S. One-step green synthesis and characterization of leaf extract-mediated biocompatible silver and gold nanoparticles from Memecylon umbellatum. Int J Nanomed. 2013; 8: 1307-1315.
41.Mosmann T. Rapid colorimetric assay for cellular growth and survival: Application to proliferation and cytotoxicity assays. J Immunol Methods. 1983; 65(1): 55-63.
42.Boroumand Moghaddam A, Moniri M, Azizi S, Abdul Rahim R, Bin Ariff A, Navaderi M, Mohamad R. Eco-friendly formulated zinc oxide nanoparticles: induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in the MCF-7 cancer cell line. Genes. 2017; 8(10): 281.
43.Annamalai SK, Arunachalam KD. Uranium (238U)-induced ROS and cell cycle perturbations, antioxidant responses and erythrocyte nuclear abnormalities in the freshwater iridescent shark fish Pangasius sutchi. Aquat. Toxicol. 2017; 186: 145-158.
44.Arunachalam K, Annamalai S, Kuruva J. In-vivo evaluation of hexavalent chromium induced DNA damage by alkaline comet assay and oxidative stress in Catla catla. Am J Environ Sci. 2013; 9(6): 470-482.
45.Rojas E, Lopez M, Valverde M. Single cell gel electrophoresis assay: methodology and applications. J Chromatogr B: Biomed Sci Appl. 1999; 722(1-2): 225-254.
46.Annamalai SK, Arunachalam KD. Uranium induced ROS and its antioxidant defense molecules, genotoxicity assessment in iridescent shark (Pangasius sutchi). In Proceedings of the international conference on radiation biology: frontiers in radiobiology-immunomodulation, countermeasures and therapeutics: abstract book, souvenir and scientific programme 2014.
47.Yuan R, Xu H, Liu X, Tian Y, Li C, Chen X, Su S, Perelshtein I, Gedanken A, Lin X. Zinc-doped copper oxide nanocomposites inhibit the growth of human cancer cells through reactive oxygen species-mediated NF-κB activations. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016; 8(46): 31806-31812.
48.Goh EG, Xu X, McCormick PG. Effect of particle size on the UV absorbance of zinc oxide nanoparticles. Scr Mater. 2014; 78-79: 49-52.
49.Jamdagni P, Khatri P, Rana JS. Green synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles using flower extract of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis and their antifungal activity. J King Saud Univ, Sci. 2018; 30(2): 168-175.
50.Halawani EM. Rapid biosynthesis method and characterization of silver nanoparticles using Zizyphus spina christi leaf extract and their antibacterial efficacy in therapeutic application. J Biomater Nanobiotechnol. 2016; 8(1): 22-35.
51.Darvishi E, Kahrizi D, Arkan E. Comparison of different properties of zinc oxide nanoparticles synthesized by the green (using Juglans regia L. leaf extract) and chemical methods. J Mol Liq. 2019; 286: 110831.
52.Nithya K, Kalyanasundharam S. Effect of chemically synthesis compared to biosynthesized ZnO nanoparticles using aqueous extract of C. halicacabum and their antibacterial activity. OpenNano. 2019; 4: 100024.
53.Begum S, Ahmaruzzaman M, Adhikari PP. Ecofriendly bio-synthetic route to synthesize ZnO nanoparticles using Eryngium foetidum L. and their activity against pathogenic bacteria. Mater Lett. 2018; 228: 37-41.
54.Ishwarya R, Vaseeharan B, Kalyani S, Banumathi B, Govindarajan M, Alharbi NS, Kadaikunnan S, Al-Anbr MN, Khaled JM, Benelli G. Facile green synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles using Ulva lactuca seaweed extract and evaluation of their photocatalytic, antibiofilm and insecticidal activity. J Photochem Photobiol, B. 2018; 178: 249-258.
55.Amir M, Kumar S. Possible industrial applications of genus Solanum in twentyfirst century: A review. J Sci Ind Res. 2004; 63(2): 116-124.
56.Devi GK, Sathishkumar K. Synthesis of gold and silver nanoparticles using Mukia maderaspatna plant extract and its anticancer activity. IET Nanobiotechnol. 2016; 11(2): 143-151.
57.Madhumitha G, Fowsiya J, Gupta N, Kumar A, Singh M. Green synthesis, characterization and antifungal and photocatalytic activity of Pithecellobium dulce peel–mediated ZnO nanoparticles. J Phys Chem Solids. 2019; 127: 43-51.
58.Lu J, Ali H, Hurh J, Han Y, Batjikh I, Rupa EJ, Anandapadmanaban G, Park JK, Yang DC. The assessment of photocatalytic activity of zinc oxide nanoparticles from the roots of Codonopsis lanceolata synthesized by one-pot green synthesis method. Optik. 2019; 184: 82-89.
59.Mohan AC, Renjanadevi B. Preparation of zinc oxide nanoparticles and its characterization using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Procedia Technol. 2016; 24: 761-766.
60.Bindu P, Thomas S. Estimation of lattice strain in ZnO nanoparticles: X-ray peak profile analysis. J Theor App Phys. 2014; 8(4): 123-134.
61.Talam S, Karumuri SR, Gunnam N. Synthesis, characterization, and spectroscopic properties of ZnO nanoparticles. ISRN Nanotechnol. 2012; 2012: 6.
62.Kumar SS, Venkateswarlu P, Rao VR, Rao GN. Synthesis, characterization and optical properties of zinc oxide nanoparticles. Int Nano Lett. 2013; 3(1): 30.
63.Fu Y-S, Du XW, Kulinich SA, Qiu JS, Qin WJ, Li R, Sun J, Liu J. Stable aqueous dispersion of ZnO quantum dots with strong blue emission via simple solution route. J Am Chem Soc. 2007; 129(51): 16029-16033.
64.Singh AK. Synthesis, characterization, electrical and sensing properties of ZnO nanoparticles. Adv Powder Technol. 2010; 21(6): 609-613.
65.Suresh J, Pradheesh G, Alexramani V, Sundrarajan M, Hong SI. Green synthesis and characterization of zinc oxide nanoparticle using insulin plant (Costus pictus D. Don) and investigation of its antimicrobial as well as anticancer activities. Adv Nat Sci: Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2018; 9(1): 015008.
66.Elkady MF, Shokry Hassan H, Hafez EE, Fouad A. Construction of zinc oxide into different morphological structures to be utilized as antimicrobial agent against multidrug resistant bacteria. Bioinorg Chem Appl. 2015; 2015: 20.
67.Rad SS, Sani AM, Mohseni S. Biosynthesis, characterization and antimicrobial activities of zinc oxide nanoparticles from leaf extract of Mentha pulegium (L.). Microb Pathog. 2019; 131: 239-245.
68.Zhang L, Jiang Y, Ding Y, Povey M, York D. Investigation into the antibacterial behaviour of suspensions of ZnO nanoparticles (ZnO nanofluids). J Nanopart Res. 2007; 9(3): 479-489.
69.Zhang L, Jiang Y, Ding Y, Daskalakis N, Jeuken L, Povey M, O’Neill AJ, York DW. Mechanistic investigation into antibacterial behaviour of suspensions of ZnO nanoparticles against E. coli. J. Nanopart. Res. 2010; 12(5): 1625-1636.
70.Reddy LS, Nisha MM, Joice M, Shilpa P. Antimicrobial activity of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticle against Klebsiella pneumoniae. Pharm Biol. 2014; 52(11): 1388-1397.
71.Kadiyala U, Turali-Emre ES, Bahng JH, Kotov NA, VanEpps JS. Unexpected insights into antibacterial activity of zinc oxide nanoparticles against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Nanoscale. 2018; 10(10): 4927-4939.
72.Shobha N, Nanda N, Giresha AS, Manjappa P, Sophiya P, Dharmappa KK, Nagabhushana BM. Synthesis and characterization of Zinc oxide nanoparticles utilizing seed source of Ricinus communis and study of its antioxidant, antifungal and anticancer activity. Mater Sci Eng, C. 2019; 97: 842-850.
73.Mohamad Sukri SNA, Shameli K, Mei-Theng Wong M, Teow S-Y, Chew J, Ismail NA. Cytotoxicity and antibacterial activities of plant-mediated synthesized zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles using Punica granatum (pomegranate) fruit peels extract. J Mol Struct. 2019; 1189: 57-65.
74.Anitha R, Ramesh KV, Ravishankar TN, Sudheer Kumar KH, Ramakrishnappa T. Cytotoxicity, antibacterial and antifungal activities of ZnO nanoparticles prepared by the Artocarpus gomezianus fruit mediated facile green combustion method. J Sci: Adv Mater Devices. 2018; 3(4): 440-451.
75.Ahmar Rauf M, Oves M, Ur Rehman F, Rauf Khan A, Husain N. Bougainvillea flower extract mediated zinc oxide’s nanomaterials for antimicrobial and anticancer activity. Biomed Pharmacother. 2019; 116: 108983.