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Crumpling of silver nanowires by endolysosomes strongly reduces toxicity

Abstract : Fibrous particles interact with cells and organisms in complex ways that can lead to cellular dysfunction, cell death, inflammation, and disease. The development of conductive transparent networks (CTNs) composed of metallic silver nanowires (AgNWs) for flexible touchscreen displays raises new possibilities for the intimate contact between novel fibers and human skin. Here, we report that a material property, nanowire-bending stiffness that is a function of diameter, controls the cytotoxicity of AgNWs to nonimmune cells from humans, mice, and fish without deterioration of critical CTN performance parameters: electrical conductivity and optical transparency. Both 30- and 90-nm-diameter AgNWs are readily internalized by cells, but thinner NWs are mechanically crumpled by the forces imposed during or after endocytosis, while thicker nanowires puncture the enclosing membrane and release silver ions and lysosomal contents to the cytoplasm, thereby initiating oxidative stress. This finding extends the fiber pathology paradigm and will enable the manufacture of safer products incorporating AgNWs.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 3, 2022 - 5:01:58 PM
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Sylvia G. Lehmann, Djadidi Toybou, Ana-Elena Pradas del Real, Devrah Arndt, Abderrahmane Tagmount, et al.. Crumpling of silver nanowires by endolysosomes strongly reduces toxicity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019, 116, pp.14893-14898. ⟨10.1073/pnas.1820041116⟩. ⟨insu-03688099⟩

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