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Comparison Of Cytocompatibility And Anticancer Properties Of Traditional And Green Chemistry-synthesized Tellurium Nanowires

Ada Vernet Crua, David Medina, Bohan Zhang, M U González, Yves Huttel, José Miguel García-Martín, Jorge Luis Cholula-Diaz, Thomas J. Webster
Published 2019 · Medicine, Materials Science
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Background Traditional 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.
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