Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 187, Issue 2, pp 392–402 | Cite as

Green Engineered Biomolecule-Capped Silver Nanoparticles Fabricated from Cichorium intybus Extract: In Vitro Assessment on Apoptosis Properties Toward Human Breast Cancer (MCF-7) Cells

  • Sorayya Behboodi
  • Fahimeh Baghbani-Arani
  • Sahar Abdalan
  • Seyed Ataollah Sadat ShandizEmail author


The current experiment reveals the anticancer properties of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) synthesized using aqueous leaf extract of Cichorium intybus, a significant medicinal plant. The characteristics of AgNPs were continuously studied by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), zeta potential, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) analysis. Current microscopic results show that produced AgNPs were spherical in shape with an average size of 17.17 nm. A strong peak between 2 and 4 keV showed the greatest ratio of the elemental silver signals, due to surface plasmon resonance (SPR). The AgNPs, fabricated by green method, had a negative zeta potential of − 9.76 mV, which indicates that the synthesized AgNPs is dispersed in the medium with high stability. The in vitro cytotoxicity effect of AgNPs showed promising anticancer activity against human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. Annexin V-FITC/propidium iodide assay, Hoechst 33258 staining, and upregulation of caspase 3 activity revealed significant apoptosis activities of AgNPs against MCF-7 cells. Moreover, the flow cytometric analyses of cell cycle distribution of MCF7 cells showed that AgNPs treatment has enhanced the sub-G1 peaks, which is an indicator of apoptosis pathway. Overall results in our study suggested that AgNPs fabricated by a biogreen approach could be useful in cancer therapy.


Apoptosis Cichorium intybus Green synthesis AgNPs MCF-7 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sorayya Behboodi
    • 1
  • Fahimeh Baghbani-Arani
    • 2
  • Sahar Abdalan
    • 2
  • Seyed Ataollah Sadat Shandiz
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Tehran SharghPayam Noor UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, School of Biological Science, Varamin-Pishva BranchIslamic Azad UniversityVaraminIran
  3. 3.Department of Biology, Central Tehran BranchIslamic Azad UniversityTehranIran

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