Facile synthesis of vanadia nanoparticles and assessment of antibacterial activity and cytotoxicity

Vanadia (Vanadium oxide, V2O5) nanoparticles are being widely explored in a variety of fields including sensing, solar cells and batteries. In contrast to the current techniques that utilize chemical approaches for the synthesis of vanadium oxide nanoparticles, we present a facile technique wherein vanadium oxide was prepared from ammonium metavandate (NH4VO3). Sonication yielded nanoparticles of ≈300 nm size as confirmed by electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. The crystalline and chemical nature of the particles was confirmed by X-ray diffraction, CNH analysis and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. We assessed the antibacterial activity and cytotoxicity of these vanandia nanoparticles. Results show that vanadium oxide nanoparticles have excellent antibacterial properties against Escherichia coli which is attributed to the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated within the cells. The particles, however, also showed cytotoxicity in HeLa cells with the generation of intracellular ROS. Thus, this study presents a physical approach for preparation of vanadium oxide nanoparticles and provides new insight into their potential environmental impact.