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Chitosan (CS) nanosystems have potential applications for the control of microorganisms in the medical, environmental, and agrifood fields. In vivo and in vitro assays of CS nanosystems have experienced increased activity due to improved physicochemical properties, biological activity, and reactivity. Hence, it is important to determine whether their application involves toxicological risks. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mutagenic, cytotoxic, phytotoxic, and in vivo antifungal activity of chitosan-pyrrole-2-carboxylic acid nanobiocomposites (CS-PCA). The CS-PCA nanoparticles were synthesized by means of the nanoprecipitation technique with a size and ζ-potential of 502 ± 72 nm and + 54.7 ± 15.0 mV, respectively. According to the Ames test, no evidence of mutagenic activity was observed in Salmonella typhimurium strains. The cytotoxic assay showed that the incorporation of PCA into the CS matrix increased the toxic effect on ARPE-19 cells. However, fluorescence microscopy of ARPE-19 cells did not reveal morphostructural changes allusive to cell injury. CS-PCA exhibited strong phytotoxicity on lettuce seeds and the complete inhibition of seed development. The antifungal assay demonstrated that the CS-PCA delayed Aspergillus niger infection in tomato fruit until day 3; however, its use for the pre-treatment of seeds might exert adverse effects on plant development.


Alma Carolina Gálvez-Iriqui, Joel Said García-Romo, Mario Onofre Cortez-Rocha, Armando Burgos-Hernández, María Guadalupe Burboa-Zazueta, Ana Guadalupe Luque-Alcaraz, Montserrat Calderón-Santoyo, Waldo Manuel Argüelles-Monal, Maribel Plascencia-Jatomea. Phytotoxicity, cytotoxicity, and in vivo antifungal efficacy of chitosan nanobiocomposites on prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Environmental science and pollution research international. 2021 Jan;28(3):3051-3065

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PMID: 32902751

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