Argovit™ silver nanoparticles effects on allium cepa: Plant growth promotion without cyto genotoxic damage

Francisco Casillas‐figueroa, María Evarista Arellano‐garcía, Claudia Leyva‐aguilera, Balam Ruíz‐ruíz, Roberto Luna Vázquez‐gómez, Patricia Radilla‐chávez, Rocío Alejandra Chávez‐santoscoy, Alexey Pestryakov, Yanis Toledano‐magaña, Juan Carlos García‐ramos, Nina Bogdanchikova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Due to their antibacterial and antiviral effects, silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are one of the most widely used nanomaterials worldwide in various industries, e.g., in textiles, cosmetics and biomedical‐related products. Unfortunately, the lack of complete physicochemical characterization and the variety of models used to evaluate its cytotoxic/genotoxic effect make comparison and decision‐making regarding their safe use difficult. In this work, we present a systematic study of the cytotoxic and genotoxic activity of the commercially available AgNPs formulation Argovit™ in Allium cepa. The evaluated concentration range, 5–100 μg/mL of metallic silver content (85–1666 μg/mL of complete formulation), is 10–17 times higher than the used for other previously reported polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)‐AgNP formulations and showed no cytotoxic or genotoxic damage in Allium cepa. Conversely, low concentrations (5 and 10 μg/mL) promote growth without damage to roots or bulbs. Until this work, all the formulations of PVP‐AgNP evaluated in Allium cepa regardless of their size, concentration, or the exposure time had shown phytotoxicity. The biological response observed in Allium cepa exposed to Argovit™ is caused by nanoparticles and not by silver ions. The metal/coating agent ratio plays a fundamental role in this response and must be considered within the key physicochemical parameters for the design and manufacture of safer nanomaterials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1386
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Allium cepa
  • Antioxidant activity
  • Cytotoxic
  • Genotoxic
  • Metal/coating agent ratio
  • Nongenotoxic silver nanoparticles
  • Silver ions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

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