Efficiency of the Green Synthesized Nanoparticles as New Tools in Cancer Therapy: Insights on Plant-Based Bioengineered Nanoparticles, Biophysical Properties, and Anticancer Roles


The aim of this work is to review the current knowledge on the efficiency of plant-based synthesized nanoparticles in medical field, particularly in the prevention, diagnosis, and therapy of cancer. For this, we examine the advantages of nanotechnological tools. Besides, a particular attention was given to understand the mechanism by which plant-based bioengineered nanoparticles can interact with components of cancerous cells. Green biosynthesized nanoparticles seem to be novel tool for prognostic biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and drug delivery in tumor cells. They can act either by leading to the damage of tumor cells, or by the protection of healthy cells, via mechanisms involving the specific properties of nanoparticles themselves and the antioxidative and antitumor properties found in plants. However, special attention should be given to the choice of plant species, extracts, and the toxic dose of some phytocompounds during the biosynthesis process. An increase in metal or trace element release from metal and metal oxide biosynthesized nanoparticles can lead to greater oxidative stress, which is associated with higher risk of cancer. Hence, plant-based nanosystems should be more developed to increase their specific targeting of the cancerous cells, in order to preserve the healthy ones.

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Research in the laboratory in Tunisia is supported by the Tunisian Ministry of Education and Scientific Research.

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Correspondence to Inès Karmous.

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Karmous, I., Pandey, A., Haj, K.B. et al. Efficiency of the Green Synthesized Nanoparticles as New Tools in Cancer Therapy: Insights on Plant-Based Bioengineered Nanoparticles, Biophysical Properties, and Anticancer Roles. Biol Trace Elem Res 196, 330–342 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-019-01895-0

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  • Biosynthesis
  • Cancer diagnosis and therapy
  • Nanotechnology
  • Plant extracts