Nanomaterials (Basel). 2021 Feb 18;11(2):514. doi: 10.3390/nano11020514.
Cancer and antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics are two of the most worrying healthcare concerns that humanity is facing nowadays. Some of the most promising solutions for these healthcare problems may come from nanomedicine. While the traditional synthesis of nanomaterials is often accompanied by drawbacks such as high cost or the production of toxic by-products, green nanotechnology has been presented as a suitable solution to overcome such challenges. In this work, an approach for the synthesis of tellurium (Te) nanostructures in aqueous media has been developed using aloe vera (AV) extracts as a unique reducing and capping agent. Te-based nanoparticles (AV-TeNPs), with sizes between 20 and 60 nm, were characterized in terms of physicochemical properties and tested for potential biomedical applications. A significant decay in bacterial growth after 24 h was achieved for both Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli at a relative low concentration of 5 µg/mL, while there was no cytotoxicity towards human dermal fibroblasts after 3 days of treatment. AV-TeNPs also showed anticancer properties up to 72 h within a range of concentrations between 5 and 100 µg/mL. Consequently, here, we present a novel and green approach to produce Te-based nanostructures with potential biomedical applications, especially for antibacterial and anticancer applications.