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Food Chem Toxicol. 2016 Jul;93:51-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2016.04.025. Epub 2016 Apr 30.

In vitro toxicity assessment of extracts derived from sol-gel coatings on polycarbonate intended to be used in food contact applications.

Author information

Derttech « Packtox » LNC UMRU866, Nutox Team, Agrosupdijon, Université Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Dijon, 21000, France. Electronic address:
IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA 95120, USA.
Derttech « Packtox » LNC UMRU866, Nutox Team, Agrosupdijon, Université Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Dijon, 21000, France.
Laboratoire National de Metrologie et d'essais, Trappes 78197, France.
Laboratoire des Multimatériaux et Interfaces UMR 5615, University of Lyon, Villeurbanne, 69100, France.


Polycarbonate is a widely used polymer in food contact applications all around the world. However, due to the potential release of Bisphenol A (BPA) during repeated washing cycles, its use becomes compromised as BPA is known for being an endocrine disruptor for rodents. In order to tackle this issue, sol-gel coatings based on organoalkoxysiloxane were developed on PC, to act as a physical barrier. To this end, two sol-gel systems based on tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS), methyltriethoxysilane (MTES) and 3-glycidyloxypropyltriethoxysilane (GPTES), three common sol-gel precursors, were prepared. The coatings derived from the latter two systems were then studied with regards to their potential toxicity in vitro. Migration tests were performed in food simulants, and the maximal migration was obtained in ethanol 10% (v/v) for one system and in isooctane for the other one. In vitro genotoxicity was assessed with the Ames test (OECD 471) and the micronucleus assay (OECD 487), and no genotoxic effect was observed. Moreover, the estrogenic activity of the extracts was studied with a transcriptional activation assay using transient transfection in human cells; none of the extracts was found estrogenic. These negative in vitro results are highly promising for the future use of these new barrier coating formulations onto food contact materials.


Ames test; Endocrine disruption; Extracts; Food contact coating; HepG2 cell line; Micronucleus assay; Migration; Polycarbonate; Sol–gel coating

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