Mechanistic approach for fabrication of gold nanoparticles by Nitzschia diatom and their antibacterial activity

Hemant P. Borase, Chandrashekhar D. Patil, Rahul K. Suryawanshi, Sunil H. Koli, Bhavana V. Mohite, Giovanni Benelli, Satish V. Patil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The problem of chemically synthesized nanoproducts motivated scientific community to explore ecofriendly methods of nanosynthesis. Diatoms belong to a group of aquatic, unicellular, photosynthetic microalgae have been scarcely investigated as a source of reducing and capping agents for nanosynthesis of pesticides and antibiotics. The present study reports a novel ecofriendly method for the fabrication of bioactive gold nanoparticles using locally isolated Nitzschia diatoms. The diatom-fabricated gold nanoparticles show characteristic ruby red colored with sharp absorbance peak at 529 nm. Electron microscopy confirmed irregular shape of gold nanoparticles, with average size of 43 nm and zeta potential of −16.8 mV. The effects of gold nanoparticles on diatom viability were investigated using light and electron microscopy. The mechanistic approach to shed light on how diatoms reacted after exposure to gold metal salt revealed that exposure to gold chloride triggers elevated levels of catalase and peroxidase (12.76 and 14.43 unit/mg protein, respectively) to relieve reactive oxygen species (ROS) stress induced by gold salt exposure. Investigation studies on mechanisms behind Nitzschia-mediated gold nanoparticles fabrication outlined the role of diatom proteins, polysaccharides in reduction, and stabilization of nanoparticles as confirmed by FT-IR analysis. Bioactivity of gold nanoparticles was accessed by coupling them with antibiotics (penicillin and streptomycin), which increased their antibacterial activity compared to individual nanoparticles and antibiotics (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus). Overall, the present novel phyco-nanotechnological approach is a promising tool to be used as sustainable strategy in green nanotechnology as well as to reduce use of antibiotics in microbial control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1437-1446
Number of pages10
JournalBioprocess and Biosystems Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibacterial activity
  • Catalase
  • Green nanosynthesis
  • Peroxidase
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering


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