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Cytotoxicity in the age of nano: The role of fourth period transition metal oxide nanoparticle physicochemical properties
Link to Journal Abstract
A clear understanding of physicochemical factors governing nanoparticle toxicity is still in its infancy. We used a systematic approach to delineate physicochemical properties of nanoparticles that govern cytotoxicity. The cytotoxicity of fourth period metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs): TiO2, Cr2O3, Mn2O3, Fe2O3, NiO, CuO, and ZnO increases with the atomic number of the transition metal oxide. This trend was not cell-type specific, as observed in non-transformed human lung cells (BEAS-2B) and human bronchoalveolar carcinoma-derived cells (A549). Addition of NPs to the cell culture medium did not significantly alter pH. Physiochemical properties were assessed to discover the determinants of cytotoxicity: (1) point-of-zero charge (PZC) (i.e., isoelectric point) described the surface charge of NPs in cytosolic and lysosomal compartments; (2) relative number of available binding sites on the NP surface quantified by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was used to estimate the probability of biomolecular interactions on the particle surface; (3) band-gap energy measurements to predict electron abstraction from NPs which might lead to oxidative stress and subsequent cell death; and (4) ion dissolution. Our results indicate that cytotoxicity is a function of particle surface charge, the relative number of available surface binding sites, and metal ion dissolution from NPs. These findings provide a physicochemical basis for both risk assessment and the design of safer nanomaterials.
For this study, the authors used a systematic approach to delineate physicochemical properties that govern cytotoxicity of fourth period metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs): TiO2, Cr2O3, Mn2O3, Fe2O3, NiO, CuO, and ZnO. The findings provide a physicochemical basis for both risk assessment and the design of safer nanomaterials.
Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Exposure Or Hazard Target
Method Of Study
Computational and System Modeling
Risk Exposure Group
Chemico-Biological Interactions, 206(2): 319-326 (November 2013)
Chusuei CC, Wu CH, Mallavarapu S, Hou FYS, Hsu CM, Winiarz JG, Aronstam RS, Huang YW
Last updated on December 4, 2013
This work is supported in part by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation
under NSF Award Number EEC-0118007.
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