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Transformation and Speciation Analysis of Silver Nanoparticles of Dietary Supplement in Simulated Human Gastrointestinal Tract

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journal contribution
posted on 03.07.2018 by Wenhao Wu, Ruojie Zhang, David Julian McClements, Benny Chefetz, Tamara Polubesova, Baoshan Xing
Knowledge of the physicochemical properties of ingestible silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in the human gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is essential for assessing their bioavailability, bioactivity, and potential health risks. The gastrointestinal fate of AgNPs and silver ions from a commercial dietary supplement was therefore investigated using a simulated human GIT. In the mouth, no dissolution or aggregation of AgNPs occurred, which was attributed to the neutral pH and the formation of biomolecular corona, while the silver ions formed complexes with biomolecules (Ag-biomolecule). In the stomach, aggregation of AgNPs did not occur, but extensive dissolution was observed due to the low pH and the presence of Cl. In the fed state (after meal), 72% AgNPs (by mass) dissolved, with 74% silver ions forming Ag-biomolecule and 26% forming AgCl. In the fasted state (before meal), 76% AgNPs dissolved, with 82% silver ions forming Ag-biomolecule and 18% forming AgCl. A biomolecular corona around AgNPs, comprised of mucin with multiple sulfhydryl groups, inhibited aggregation and dissolution of AgNPs. In the small intestine, no further dissolution or aggregation of AgNPs occurred, while the silver ions existed only as Ag-biomolecule. These results provide useful information for assessing the bioavailability of ingestible AgNPs and their subsequently potential health risks, and for the safe design and utilization of AgNPs in biomedical applications.