Cytotoxic effects of novel solvothermal synthesised Ag-doped PEGylated WO3 sheet-like nanocomposites on MCF-7 human breast cancer cells

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Nanotechnology has provided an unprecedented opportunity in addressing challenges faced by cancer treatment. Nanomaterials represent a promising and versatile method in biomedical applications. PEGylation of nanomaterials is considered as the most effective strategy for commercial relevance. The purpose of this study was to develop a novel solvothermal synthesis of PEGylated tungsten trioxide (PEG-WO3) and Ag-doped PEGylated tungsten trioxide (Ag/PEG-WO3) (1:2 ratio) sheet-like nanocomposites and to investigate the in vitro anticancer activities of PEGylated WO3 and Ag-doped PEGylated tungsten trioxide (Ag/PEG-WO3) (1:2 ratio) nanoparticles on MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. The structural, morphological and textural properties were characterized by powder X-ray diffractometer, transmission electron microscope, UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and FTIR. The XRD analysis proved that doping of Ag NPs into the lattice of PEGylated WO3 and TEM image indicated the successful anchoring of spherical-like shape of Ag NPs approximately 6–8 nm in size onto the sheet-like PEGylated WO3. Morphological changes, ATP proliferation, cytotoxicity, caspase activity and nuclear damage of NPs treated an MCF-7 cell line were assessed. The Ag-doped PEGylated WO3 nanoparticles (10 μg/mL) showed more toxicity towards MCF-7 cells in LDH assay (p < 0.05), reduced the proliferation (p < 0.01) and induced the caspase 3/7 activities significantly (p < 0.01). The morphological changes of MCF-7 cells after the treatments and results of Hoechst stain indicated nuclear damage. These results indicate a successful synthesis of a novel solvothermal nanocomposite capable of inducing cancer cell death. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number195
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • Cancer
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Environmental and health effects
  • Nanotechnology
  • PEGylation
  • Solvothermal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Chemistry
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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