Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran

2 Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, Department of Biology, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

3 Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology, SGB Amravati University, Amravati-444 602, Maharashtra, India

4 Department of Microbiology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, 87-100 Toruń, Poland

5 Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Sciences, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, South America, Colombia

6 Nanobiotechnology Department, Faculty of Innovative Science and Technology, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

7 Department of Pharmacy, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

8 Laboratory of Pharmacology and Molecular Chemistry; Department of Biological Chemistry; Regional University of Cariri; Rua Coronel Antônio Luis 1161, Pimenta, CEP 63105-000, Crato, Ceará, Brazil

9 Laboratory of Microbiology and Molecular Biology; Department of Biological Chemistry; Regional University of Cariri; Rua Coronel Antônio Luis 1161, Pimenta, CEP 63105-000, Crato, Ceará, Brazil

10 Research Laboratory of Natural Products, Department of Biological Chemistry, Regional University of Cariri, Crato, CE 63105-000, Brazil


The applications of nanoparticles in various practical fields, owing to their unique properties compared with bulk materials, have been occupying the minds of scientists for several decades. In this regard, a combination of pharmacology and nanotechnology has contributed to producing newer effective anticancer and antimicrobial agents to inactivate resistant cancer cells and microorganisms, specifically multidrug-resistant ones. The physicochemical properties of nanoparticles based on metalloid, metal, and metal oxides such as selenium, silver, gold, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, copper oxide, platinum, and magnesium oxide, have been well known and referred to as anticancer and antimicrobial agents or carriers. The inactivation and eradication of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria may be mainly resulted from the oxidative damages in the bacterial medium. Overall, metalloid, metal and metal oxide NPs can be functionalized by other antibacterial or anticancer agents and biocompatible stabilizers to increase their efficiency in physiological conditions. However, the undesirable cytotoxicity of these nanoparticles in physiological conditions is the major hindrance to their application in the pharmaceutical industry and therapeutics. Nevertheless, it is expected that these problems will be solved in the near future. Therefore, the main objective of this review is to report an overview of the recent signs of progress in increasing anticancer and antibacterial mechanisms of metal and metal-based nanoparticles.

Graphical Abstract

The efficiency of metal, metal oxide, and metalloid nanoparticles against cancer cells and bacterial pathogens: different mechanisms of action


Main Subjects

Selected author of this article by journal

ِDr. Mehran Alavi
Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences
ِDr. Mahendra Rai
SGB Amravati University
ِDr. Fleming Martinez
Universidad Nacional de Colombia
ِDr. Danial Kahrizi
Razi University

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ِDr. Haroon Khan
Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan
ِDr. Irwin Rose Alencar de Menezes
Universidade Regional do Cariri
ِDr. Jose Galberto Martins da Costa
Universidade Regional do Cariri


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