Anti-leukemia Activity of PVP-coated Silver Nanoparticles via Generation of Reactive Oxygen Species and Release of Silver Ions

This clinical study, published in the journal Biomaterials in October 2013, was specifically designed to determine whether or not exposure to silver nanoparticles would “inhibit the grown of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells,” and thus represent a viable potential treatment for leukemia (i.e., cancer of the blood and bone marrow). According to the study authors, “We found that silver nanoparticles could inhibit the viability of AML cells including isolates from AML patients.”

The researchers also found that the “silver nanoparticles caused the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), losses of mitochondrial membrane potential, DNA damage and apoptosis” in the leukemia cells. In other words, the silver nanoparticles caused the leukemia cells to self-destruct. What’s more, the researchers found that, “Similar results were obtained when cells were treated with silver ions alone.” The researchers concluded, “…these data supported the model that both generation of ROS and release of silver ions played critical roles in the silver nanoparticle-induced cytotoxic effect against AML cells. Taken together, this work elucidated the cytotoxic effect of silver nanoparticles on AML cells and their underlying mechanism and might have significant impact on AML treatment.” In other words, the results indicate silver nanoparticles could eventually prove to be an effective leukemia treatment.

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