Green Bio-Assisted Synthesis, Characterization and Biological Evaluation of Biocompatible ZnO NPs Synthesized from Different Tissues of Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 1171

Bilal Haider Abbasi 1,* , Muzamil Shah 1, Syed Salman Hashmi 1, Munazza Nazir 1,2,Sania Naz 1, Waqar Ahmad 3, Inam Ullah Khan 4 and Christophe Hano 5,*

1 Department of Biotechnology, Quaid I Azam University, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan
2 Department of Botany, University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Muza arabad 13230, Pakistan
3 Department of Pharmacy, Quaid I Azam University, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan
4 Department of Biochemistry, Quaid I Azam University, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan
5 Laboratoire de Biologie des Ligneux et des Grandes Cultures (LBLGC), INRA USC1328, Université d’Orléans, F28000 Chartres, France
* Correspondence: (B.H.A.); or (C.H.); Tel./Fax: +33-77-698-41-48 (B.H.A.); +33-237-309-753 (C.H.)


The purpose of the current study was green synthesis of ZnO-nanoparticles (NPs) from different tissues of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaernt. (i.e., seeds, wild plant, in vitro derived plantlets and callus cultures) followed by extensive characterization and evaluation of their biological potency. ZnO-NPs thus synthesized were subjected to characterization using standard techniques such as XRD, FTIR and SEM. Thermal stability of synthesized NPs was also evaluated using thermo-gravimetric analysis. Highly stable crystalline NPs with size ranging between 30.8 and 46.0 nm were obtained from different tissues of S. marianum. These NPs have revealed a wide range of biological applications showing antioxidant, moderate α-amylase inhibitor, antibacterial and cytotoxicpotencies. The highest antibacterial activity (20 0.98 mm) was shown by seed extract-mediated ZnO NPs against Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC-6538). Seed extract-mediated ZnO NPs also showed the most potent antioxidant activity (27.7 .9 gAAE/mg, 23.8 0.7 gAAE/mg and 12.7 1.9% total antioxidant capacity (TAC), total reducing power (TRP) and DPPH-free radical scavenging assay (FRSA), respectively). All of the synthesized ZnO NPs also showed cytotoxic activity against the hepato-cellular carcinoma (HepG2) human cells. Interestingly, these ZnO NPs were also highly biocompatible, as evidenced by the brine shrimp lethality and human red blood cells hemolytic assays. Among all of the NPs synthesized and used, the effect of seed extract-mediated NPs was found to be most promising for future applications.


Zinc Oxide (ZnO)
Nanoparticles (NPs)
Silybum marianum
in vitro plantlets
cytotoxic assay
green synthesis
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