The study describes an in situ green biosynthesis of zinc oxide nanocomposite using the seaweed Sargassum muticum water extract and hyaluronan biopolymer. The morphology and optical properties of the hyaluronan/zinc oxide (HA/ZnO) nanocomposite were determined by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, field emission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and ultraviolet-vis analysis. Electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction analysis showed that the zinc oxide nanoparticles were polydispersed with a mean size of 10.2±1.5 nm. The nanoparticles were mostly hexagonal in crystalline form. The HA/ZnO nanocomposite showed the absorption properties in the ultraviolet zone that is ascribed to the band gap of zinc oxide nanocomposite. In the cytotoxicity study, cancer cells, pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PANC-1), ovarian adenocarcinoma (CaOV-3), colonic adenocarcinoma (COLO205), and acute promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60) cells were treated with HA/ZnO nanocomposite. At 72 hours of treatment, the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) value via the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay was 10.8±0.3 μg/mL, 15.4±1.2 μg/mL, 12.1±0.9 μg/mL, and 6.25±0.5 μg/mL for the PANC-1, CaOV-3, COLO-205, and HL-60 cells, respectively, showing that the composite is most toxic to the HL-60 cells. On the other hand, HA/ZnO nanocomposite treatment for 72 hours did not cause toxicity to the normal human lung fibroblast (MRC-5) cell line. Using fluorescent dyes and flow cytometry analysis, HA/ZnO nanocomposite caused G2/M cell cycle arrest and stimulated apoptosis-related increase in caspase-3 and -7 activities of the HL-60 cells. Thus, the study shows that the HA/ZnO nanocomposite produced through green synthesis has great potential to be developed into an efficacious therapeutic agent for cancers.
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