, Volume 249, Issue 3, pp 835–842 | Cite as

Biological reactivity of TiO2 nanoparticles assessed by ex vivo testing

  • Janez ValantEmail author
  • Damjana Drobne
Short Communication


Isolated digestive gland epithelium from a model invertebrate organism was used in an ex vivo system to assess the potential of nanoparticulate TiO2 to disrupt cell membranes. Primary particle size, surface area, concentration of particles in a suspension, and duration of exposure to TiO2 particles were all found to have effects, which are observed at concentrations of nano-TiO2 as low as 1 μg mL−1. The test system employed here can be used as a fast screening tool to assess biological potential of nanoparticles with similar chemical composition but different size, concentration, or duration of exposure. We discuss the potential of ex vivo tests to avoid some of the limitations of conventional in vitro tests.


TiO2 particles Ex vivo testing Nanotoxicity Biological potential of nanoparticles 



We would like to thank the Slovenian Research Agency (project number J1-9475), Ksenija Kogej and Darko Makovec for nanoparticles characterization, Živa Pipan-Tkalec and Maja Remškar for TEM analyses, and G.W.A. Milne for editorial assistance.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Biotechnical FacultyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Centre of Excellence in Advanced Materials and Technologies for the Future (CO NAMASTE), Jožef Stefan InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia
  3. 3.Centre of Excellence in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (CO Nanocenter), Jožef Stefan InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia

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