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Acta Biomater. 2007 May;3(3):351-8. Epub 2007 Feb 1.

Cytotoxic effects of aggregated nanomaterials.

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  • 1The University of Texas at El Paso, Material Science and Engineering, 500 W University, El Paso, TX 79986, USA.


This study deals with cytotoxicity assays performed on an array of commercially manufactured inorganic nanoparticulate materials, including Ag, TiO(2), Fe(2)O(3), Al(2)O(3), ZrO(2), Si(3)N(4), naturally occurring mineral chrysotile asbestos and carbonaceous nanoparticulate materials such as multiwall carbon nanotube aggregates and black carbon aggregates. The nanomaterials were characterized by TEM, as the primary particles, aggregates or long fiber dimensions ranged from 2nm to 20microm. Cytotoxicological assays of these nanomaterials were performed utilizing a murine alveolar macrophage cell line and human macrophage and epithelial lung cell lines as comparators. The nanoparticulate materials exhibited varying degrees of cytoxicity for all cell lines and the general trends were similar for both the murine and human macrophage cell lines. These findings suggest that representative cytotoxic responses for humans might be obtained by nanoparticulate exposures to simple murine macrophage cell line assays. Moreover, these results illustrate the utility in performing rapid in vitro assays for cytotoxicity assessments of nanoparticulate materials as a general inquiry of potential respiratory health risks in humans.

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