Research Highlight

Nanobrakes on platelet activity

doi:10.1038/nindia.2009.134 Published online 18 May 2009

Silver nanoparticles can put brakes on the hyperactivity of platelets, claims an Indian research team1.

Platelets, a type of cells in blood, help wounds heal and prevent bleeding by forming blood clots. But when hyperactive, they trigger blood clots and obstruct blood vessels ushering in heart diseases. Silver nanoparticles check the aggregation and activity of platelets. These nanoparticles might replace unsafe therapeutic options to control platelet activity.

Silver nanoparticles are known for their antibacterial property with low toxicity. This led the researchers to explore their effects on platelet activity.

The researchers synthesised spherical silver nanoparticles 10 -15 nm in diameter and exposed them to platelets undergoing thrombin-induced aggregation. The nanoparticles inhibited this aggregation. In patients with noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, they inhibited aggregation by nearly 50%. Intravenous administration of nanoparticles in two different mice strains also significantly inhibited aggregation in mouse whole blood.

The study results raise the hope for silver nanoparticles as antiplatelet therapeutic agent. It may be used effectively with coronary stents, where the antibacterial property of nanosilver would complement its antiplatelet potency, the researchers say.

The authors of this work are from: Institute of Medical Sciences & Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi and International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials, Balapur, Hyderabad, India.


  1. Shrivastava, S. et al. Characterization of Antiplatelet Properties of Silver Nanoparticles. ACS Nano. doi:  10.1021/nn900277t (2009)