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Preparation of Tradescantia pallida-mediated zinc oxide nanoparticles and their activity against cervical cancer cell lines

Cai-yun Li
Zheng-cheng Zhang
Jing-yue Mao
Li-feng Shi
Ying Zheng
Jia-li Quan


Purpose: To synthesize zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) using Tradescantia pallida. (Commelinaceae) and determine their fluorescent and cytotoxic properties.
Methods: ZnO NPs were synthesized according to a simple protocol using T. pallida aqueous leaf extract (TPALE). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and  transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to analyze the morphology of the ZnO NPs. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transforminfrared spectroscopy (FTIR) measurements were performed to determine their crystalline nature and functional groups, respectively. Fluorescence spectroscopy was used to assess the  photoluminescence properties of ZnO NPs. Upon confirmation of ZnO NP synthesis, cytotoxicity tests were carried out against HeLa cell line by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay.
Results: The agglomerated ZnO NPs were rod-shaped and had a mean particle size of 25 ± 2 nm. Further, they exhibited good photoluminescence with correlation to ZnO crystals. MTT assay results indicated significant cytotoxicity against HeLa cervical cancer cell line.
Conclusion: A simple approach for ZnO NP synthesis based on TPALE has been developed successfully. The synthesized ZnO NPs demonstrate good luminescence properties and cytotoxicity against cervical cancer line.

Keywords: Commelinaceae, Cytotoxicity, Photoluminescence, Setcreasea pallida, Setcreasea purpurea, Tradescantia pallida, ZnO nanoparticles