Biogenic selenium nanoparticles: A fine characterization to unveil their thermodynamic stability

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Abstract

Among the plethora of available metal(loid) nanomaterials (NMs), those containing selenium are interesting from an applicative perspective, due to their high biocompatibility. Microorganisms capable of coping with toxic Se-oxyanions generate mostly Se nanoparticles (SeNPs), representing an ideal and green alternative over the chemogenic synthesis to obtain thermody-namically stable NMs. However, their structural characterization, in terms of biomolecules and interactions stabilizing the biogenic colloidal solution, is still a black hole that impairs the exploitation of biogenic SeNP full potential. Here, spherical and thermodynamically stable SeNPs were produced by a metal(loid) tolerant Micrococcus sp. Structural characterization obtained by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) revealed that these SeNPs were surrounded by an organic material that contributed the most to their electrosteric stabilization, as indicated by Zeta (ζ) potential measurements. Proteins were strongly adsorbed on the SeNP surface, while lipids, polysaccharides, and nucleic acids more loosely interacted with SeNMs as highlighted by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and overall supported by multivariate statistical analysis. Nevertheless, all these contributors were fundamental to maintain SeNPs stable, as, upon washing, the NM-containing extract showed the arising of aggregated SeNPs alongside Se nanorods (SeNRs). Besides, Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculation unveiled how thiol-containing molecules appeared to play a role in SeO32− bioreduction, stress oxidative response, and SeNP stabilization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalNanomaterials
Volume11
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science

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