Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Nanosilver suppresses growth and induces oxidative damage to DNA in Caenorhabditis elegans



Bryant C. Nelson, Bryce J. Marquis, Piper R. Hunt, Katherine M. Tyner, Sean Conklin, Nicholas Olejnik, Robert L. Sprando


The utility of C. elegans as an alternative model to assess nanomaterial toxicity was evaluated using 10 nm silver particles (10nmAg). Endpoints of nanomaterial uptake and localization, larval growth, morphology, and DNA damage were assessed. Orally ingested 10nmAg localized to the lumen and tissues of the digestive tract. 10nmAg at concentrations of 10 µg/mL and above reduced the growth of C. elegans larvae, but not as much as ionic silver. 10nmAg preparations later identified to contain endotoxin were much more toxic than endotoxin-free preparations. Finally, both endotoxin-free and endotoxin contaminated lots of 10nmAg induced similar DNA damage as measured by 8-OH guanine levels. Our data suggest that localization and morphology assessments, medium-throughput growth screening, and DNA damage analysis in C. elegans could together provide powerful tools for rapid assessment of nanoparticle toxicity.


nanosilver, silver ions, growth suppression, DNA damage


Nelson, B. , Marquis, B. , Hunt, P. , Tyner, K. , Conklin, S. , Olejnik, N. and Sprando, R. (2013), Nanosilver suppresses growth and induces oxidative damage to DNA in Caenorhabditis elegans, Nanotoxicology, [online], (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created May 2, 2013, Updated February 19, 2017