Synthesis and antibacterial characterization of sustainable nanosilver using naturally-derived macromolecules

Francis J. Osonga, Victor M. Kariuki, Idris Yazgan, Apryl Jimenez, David Luther, Jürgen Schulte, Omowunmi A. Sadik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Greener nanosynthesis utilizes fewer amounts of materials, water, and energy; while reducing or replacing the need for organic solvents. A novel approach is presented using naturally-derived flavonoids including Quercetin pentaphosphate (QPP), Quercetin sulfonic acid (QSA) and Apigenin Triphosphate (ATRP). These water soluble, phosphorylated flavonoids were utilized both as reducing agent and stabilizer. The synthesis was achieved at room temperature using water as a solvent and it requires no capping agents. The efficiency of the resulting silver nanoparticle synthesis was compared with naturally-occurring flavonoid such as Quercetin (QCR). Results show that QCR reduced Ag+ faster followed by QPP, QSA and ATRP respectively. This is the first evidence of direct utilization of QCR for synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in water. The percentage conversion of Ag+ to Ag0 was determined to be 96% after 35 min. The synthesized nanoparticles were characterized using Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Energy dispersive absorption spectroscopy (EDS), UV–vis spectroscopy, High resolution TEM (HR-TEM) with selected area electron diffraction (SAED). The particle sizes ranged from 2 to 80 nm with an average size of 22 nm and in the case of ATRP, the nanoparticle shapes varied from spherical to hexagonal with dispersed particle size ranging from 2 to 30 nm. Crystallinity was confirmed by XRD and the SAED of (111), (200), and the fringes observed in HRTEM images. Results were in agreement with the UV resonance peaks of 369–440 nm. The particles also exhibit excellent antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus epidermidis, Escherichia coli and Citrobacter freundii in water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)977-986
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


  • Antibacterial
  • Flavonoids
  • Green synthesis
  • Nanoparticles
  • Total environment


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