Nigella sativa is an important herbal drug in the Unani, Ayurveda, Chinese and Arabic system of medicine and its extract are scientifically reported for treatment and prevention of different types of cancer but the major limitations is low bioavailability upon oral administration, for which its clinical use is restricted. To improve its bioavailability, we synthesized silver nanocomposites (AgNCs) of Nigella sativa seeds extract and were used to test its efficacy against hepatocellular carcinoma using HepG2 cell lines. The AgNCs were developed by treating aqueous extract of N. sativa seeds treated with silver nitrate (1mM) solution and the SPR (Surface Plasmon Resonance) of prepared AgNCs shown peak at 432 nm via UV spectroscopy. The selected N. sativa AgNCs were characterized for polydispersity, surface charge and size and the results showed 0.215±0.093 polydispersity index (PDI), zeta potential 18.8±0.372 mV and size range 10-20 nm, and the fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) also showed various peak of functional groups that possibly involved in reduction of silver ion and synthesize the N. sativa silver nanocomposites, respectively. N. sativa AgNCs showed 89.954 % drug release while in case of extract released was only 33.821 % in 24 hrs. Further in vitro studies of N. sativa AgNCs against hepatocellular carcinoma showed good cytotoxic effect against HepG2 cells in compared to normal control cells. The IC50 value of AgNCs of nigella extract was found to be 7.16 μg/ml. Thus the present results revealed that green synthesis of N. sativa AgNCs can be an alternative tool for clinical application in cancer therapy; however, there is a need for finding the mechanism and role of AgNCs inside the individual.
Keywords: Nigella sativa, silver nanoparticles, bioavailability, anticancer, apoptosis
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