, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp 2563-2573
Date: 17 Jul 2012

In vitro cytotoxicity of surface modified bismuth nanoparticles

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This paper describes in vitro cytotoxicity of bismuth nanoparticles revealed by three complementary assays (MTT, G6PD, and calcein AM/EthD-1). The results show that bismuth nanoparticles are more toxic than most previously reported bismuth compounds. Concentration dependent cytotoxicities have been observed for bismuth nanoparticles and surface modified bismuth nanoparticles. The bismuth nanoparticles are non-toxic at concentration of 0.5 nM. Nanoparticles at high concentration (50 nM) kill 45, 52, 41, 34 % HeLa cells for bare nanoparticles, amine terminated bismuth nanoparticles, silica coated bismuth nanoparticles, and polyethylene glycol (PEG) modified bismuth nanoparticles, respectively; which indicates cytotoxicity in terms of cell viability is in the descending order of amine terminated bismuth nanoparticles, bare bismuth nanoparticles, silica coated bismuth nanoparticles, and PEG modified bismuth nanoparticles. HeLa cells are more susceptible to toxicity from bismuth nanoparticles than MG-63 cells. The simultaneous use of three toxicity assays provides information on how nanoparticles interact with cells. Silica coated bismuth nanoparticles can damage cellular membrane yet keep mitochondria less influenced; while amine terminated bismuth nanoparticles can affect the metabolic functions of cells. The findings have important implications for caution of nanoparticle exposure and evaluating toxicity of bismuth nanoparticles.