Nanosilver plays an important role in nanoscience and nanotechnology, and is becoming increasingly used for applications in nanomedicine. Nanosilver ranges from 1 to 100 nanometers in diameter. Smaller particles more readily enter cells and interact with the cellular components. The exposure dose, particle size, coating, and aggregation state of the nanosilver, as well as the cell type or organism on which it is tested, are all large determining factors on the effect and potential toxicity of nanosilver. A high exposure dose to nanosilver alters the cellular stress responses and initiates cascades of signalling that can eventually trigger organelle autophagy and apoptosis. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the effects of nanosilver on cellular metabolic function and response to stress. Both the causative effects of nanosilver on oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and hypoxic stress—as well as the effects of nanosilver on the responses to such stresses—are outlined. The interactions and effects of nanosilver on cellular uptake, oxidative stress (reactive oxygen species), inflammation, hypoxic response, mitochondrial function, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) function and the unfolded protein response, autophagy and apoptosis, angiogenesis, epigenetics, genotoxicity, and cancer development and tumorigenesis—as well as other pathway alterations—are examined in this review.

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International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Department of Biology

Cameron, S.J. (Shana J.), Hosseinian, F, & Willmore, W. (2018). A current overview of the biological and cellular effects of nanosilver. International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Vol. 19). doi:10.3390/ijms19072030