Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Nanotoxicology Related Abstracts

5 Metal Nanoparticles Caused Death of Metastatic MDA-MB-231 Cells

Authors: O. S. Adeyemi, C. G. Whiteley


The present study determined the toxic potential of metal nanoparticles in cell culture system. Silver and gold nanoparticles were synthesized and characterized following established "green" protocols. The synthesized nanoparticles, in varying concentrations ranging from 0.1–100 µM were evaluated for toxicity in metastatic MDA-MB-231 cells. The nanoparticles promoted a generation of reactive oxygen species and reduced cell viability to less than 50% in the demonstration of cellular toxicity. The nanoparticles; gold and the silver-gold mixture had IC50 values of 56.65 and 18.44 µM respectively. The IC50 concentration for silver nanoparticles could not be determined. Furthermore, the probe of the cell death using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy revealed the partial involvement of apoptosis as well as necrosis. Our results revealed cellular toxicity caused by the nanoparticles but the mechanism remains yet undefined.

Keywords: Nanomedicine, Toxicity, Nanotoxicology, cell death

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4 Solubility Measurements in the Context of Nanoregulation

Authors: Ratna Tantra


From a risk assessment point of view, solubility is a property that has been identified as being important. If nanomaterial is completely soluble, then its disposal can be treated much in the same way as ‘ordinary’ chemicals, which subsequently will simplify testing and characterization regimes. The measurement of solubility has been highlighted as important in a pan-European project, Framework Programme (FP) 7 NANoREG. Some of the project outputs surrounding this topic will be presented here, in which there are two parts. First, a review on existing methods capable of measuring nanomaterial solubility will be discussed. Second, a case study will be presented based on using colorimetry methods to quantify dissolve zinc from ZnO nanomaterial upon exposure to digestive juices. The main findings are as follows: a) there is no universal method for nanomaterial solubility testing. The method chosen will be dependent on sample type and nano-specific application/scenario. b) The colorimetry results show a positive correlation between particle concentration and amount of [Zn2+] released; this was expected c) results indicate complete dissolution of the ZnO nanomaterial, as a result of the digestion protocol but only a fraction existing as free ions. Finally, what differentiates the F7 NANoREG project over other projects is the need for participating research laboratories to follow a set of defined protocols, necessary to establish quality control and assurance. The methods and results associated with mandatory testing that carried out by all partners in NANoREG will be discussed.

Keywords: Nanomaterials, Nanotoxicology, zinc oxide, solubility

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3 Polypeptide Modified Carbon Nanotubes – Mediated GFP Gene Transfection for H1299 Cells and Toxicity Assessment

Authors: Kai-Cheng Yang, Er-Chieh Cho, Kuen-Chan Lee, Pei-Ying Lo, Jing-Hao Ciou, Jia-Huei Zheng, Shih-Hsiang Huang


As-produced CNTs are insoluble in all organic solvents and aqueous solutions have imposed limitations to the use of CNTs. Therefore, how to debundle carbon nanotubes and to modify them for further uses is an important issue. There are several methods for the dispersion of CNTs in water using covalent attachment of hydrophilic groups to the surface of tubes. These methods, however, alter the electronic structure of the nanotubes by disrupting the network of sp2 hybridized carbons. In order to keep the nanotubes’ intrinsic mechanical and electrical properties intact, non-covalent interactions are increasingly being explored as an alternative route for dispersion. Apart from conventional surfactants such as sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) or sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate (SDBS) which are highly effective in dispersing CNTs, biopolymers have received much attention as dispersing agents due to the anticipated biocompatibility of the dispersed CNTs. Also, The pyrenyl group is known to interact strongly with the basal plane of graphene via π-stacking. In this study, a highly re-dispersible biopolymer is reported for the synthesis of pyrene-modified poly-L-lysine (PBPL) and poly(D-Glu, D-Lys) (PGLP). To provide the evidence of the safety of the PBPL/CNT & PGLP/CNT materials we use in this study, H1299 and HCT116 cells were incubated with PBPL/CNT & PGLP/CNT materials for toxicity analysis, MTS assays. The results from MTS assays indicated that no significant cellular toxicity was shown in H1299 and HCT116 cells. Furthermore, the fluorescence marker fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) was added to PBPL & PGLP dispersions. From the fluorescent measurements showed that the chemical functionalisation of the PBPL/CNT & PGLP/CNT conjugates with the fluorescence marker were successful. The fluorescent PBPL/CNT & PGLP/CNT conjugates could find application in medical imaging. In the next step, the GFP gene is immobilized onto PBPL/CNT conjugates by introducing electrostatic interaction. GFP-transfected cells that emitted fluorescence were imaged and counted under a fluorescence microscope. Due to the unique biocompatibility of PBPL modified CNTs, the GFP gene could be transported into H1299 cells without using antibodies. The applicability of such soluble and chemically functionalised polypeptide/CNT conjugates in biomedicine is currently investigated. We expect that this polypeptide/CNT system will be a safe and multi-functional nanomedical delivery platform and contribute to future medical therapy.

Keywords: Nanotoxicology, Carbon Nanotube, GFP transfection, polypeptide/CNT hybrids

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2 Toxicological Interactions of Silver Nanoparticles and Non-Essential Metals in Human Hepatocarcinoma Cell Line

Authors: Renata Rank Miranda, Arandi Ginane Bezerra, Ciro Alberto Oliveira Ribeiro, Marco AntôNio Ferreira Randi, Carmen Lúcia Voigt, Lilian Skytte, Kaare Lund Rasmussen, Francisco Filipak Neto, Frank Kjeldsen


Synergetic and antagonistic effects of drugs are well-known concerns in pharmacological assessments of dose and toxicity. Similar approach should be used in assessing cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of nanoparticles. Since nanoparticles are released into the aquatic environment they may interact with existing xenobiotics. Here we used biochemical assays and quantitative proteomics to assess the cytotoxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) when human hepatoma HepG2 cells were co-exposed to 2 nm AgNP together with either Cd2+ or Hg2+ ions. Time-course experiments (2h, 4h, and 24h) were conducted to assess the first response to the exposure studies. The general trend was that a synergetic toxicological response was observed in cells exposed to both AgNP and Cd2+ or Hg2+, with AgNP and Cd2+ being more toxic. This was observed by a significant increase in the ROS and superoxide level of >35% in the case of AgNP+Cd2+ compared to the sum of responses of AgNP and Cd2+, individually. Metabolic activity and viability also dropped more for AgNP+Cd2+ (>10%) than for AgNP and Cd2+ combined. We used inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to investigate if AgNP facilitates larger influx of toxic metal ions into HepG2 cells. Only Hg2+ ions was found to be more efficiently engulfed as the concentration of Hg2+ was found 2.8 times larger compared to exposure experiments with only Hg2+. This effect was not observed for Cd2+. We now continue with deep proteomics studies to obtain wider details on the mechanism of the toxicity related to AgNP, Cd2+, and AgNP+Cd2+, respectively.

Keywords: Proteomics, Nanotoxicology, Silver Nanoparticles, human cell line

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1 Nano-Pesticides: Recent Emerging Tool for Sustainable Agricultural Practices

Authors: Ekta, G. K. Darbha


Nanotechnology offers the potential of simultaneously increasing efficiency as compared to their bulk material as well as reducing harmful environmental impacts of pesticides in field of agriculture. The term nanopesticide covers different pesticides that are cumulative of several surfactants, polymers, metal ions, etc. of nanometer size ranges from 1-1000 nm and exhibit abnormal behavior (high efficacy and high specific surface area) of nanomaterials. Commercial formulations of pesticides used by farmers nowadays cannot be used effectively due to a number of problems associated with them. For example, more than 90% of applied formulations are either lost in the environment or unable to reach the target area required for effective pest control. Around 20−30% of pesticides are lost through emissions. A number of factors (application methods, physicochemical properties of the formulations, and environmental conditions) can influence the extent of loss during application. It is known that among various formulations, polymer-based formulations show the greatest potential due to their greater efficacy, slow release and protection against premature degradation of active ingredient as compared to other commercial formulations. However, the nanoformulations can have a significant effect on the fate of active ingredient as well as may release some new ingredients by reacting with existing soil contaminants. Environmental fate of these newly generated species is still not explored very well which is essential to field scale experiments and hence a lot to be explored in the field of environmental fate, nanotoxicology, transport properties and stability of such formulations. In our preliminary work, we have synthesized polymer based nanoformulation of commercially used weedicide atrazine. Atrazine belongs to triazine class of herbicide, which is used in the effective control of seed germinated dicot weeds and grasses. It functions by binding to the plastoquinone-binding protein in PS-II. Plant death results from starvation and oxidative damage caused by breakdown in electron transport system. The stability of the suspension of nanoformulation containing herbicide has been evaluated by considering different parameters like polydispersity index, particle diameter, zeta-potential under different environmental relevance condition such as pH range 4-10, temperature range from 25°C to 65°C and stability of encapsulation also have been studied for different amount of added polymer. Morphological characterization has been done by using SEM.

Keywords: Nanotoxicology, atrazine, nanoformulation, nanopesticide

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