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Comparative study on the toxicity of biosynthesized and chemically synthesized gold nanoparticles

Wenjing Zhou, Rui Yang, Sujuan Yu, Chungang Yuan, and Jingfu Liu

Hebei Key Lab of Power Plant Flue Gas Multi-Pollutants Control, Department of Environmental Science & Engineering, North China Electric Power University, Baoding, China



Received: 15 September 2022  Accepted: 24 November 2022


There has been a rush into the green synthesis of nanoparticles in recent years. However, the direct comparison of the toxicity of biosynthesized nanoparticles and chemically synthesized nanoparticles was seldom reported. Herein, a green route for the synthesis of gold nanoparticles (Bio-AuNPs) was developed by incubation of gold precursors with Oocystis sp. algal extract. The toxicity of Bio-AuNPs and citrate-stabilized AuNPs (Chem-AuNPs) was further compared by using another microalgae Chlorella vulgaris and its higher trophic level Daphnia magna as the model organisms. The exposure of Chem-AuNPs induced the aggregation of algal cells and dramatically inhibited the growth of C. vulgaris at 5 mg/L, while no significant inhibitory effect was observed for Bio-AuNPs at 20 mg/L. Additionally, the 24 and 48 h LC50 of Bio-AuNPs to D. magna were much higher than those of Chem-AuNPs. The data directly demonstrated that Bio-AuNPs have better biosafety than Chem-AuNPs, making them potentially useful in biomedical fields and cancer therapy and diagnosis.

Graphical Abstract

Keywords: Gold nanoparticles; Toxicity; Biosynthesis; Oocystis sp.; Chlorella vulgaris; Daphnia magna

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-022-02602-5


Chemical Papers 77 (4) 1999–2007 (2023)

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