Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 2543–2551 | Cite as

Agglomeration, sedimentation, and cellular toxicity of alumina nanoparticles in cell culture medium

  • Dokyung Yoon
  • Daekwang Woo
  • Jung Heon Kim
  • Moon Ki Kim
  • Taesung Kim
  • Eung-Soo HwangEmail author
  • Seunghyun BaikEmail author
Research Paper


The cytotoxicity of alumina nanoparticles (NPs) was investigated for a wide range of concentration (25–200 μg/mL) and incubation time (0–72 h) using floating cells (THP-1) and adherent cells (J774A.1, A549, and 293). Alumina NPs were gradually agglomerated over time although a significant portion of sedimentation occurred at the early stage within 6 h. A decrease of the viability was found in floating (THP-1) and adherent (J774A.1 and A549) cells in a dose-dependent manner. However, the time-dependent decrease in cell viability was observed only in adherent cells (J774A.1 and A549), which is predominantly related with the sedimentation of alumina NPs in cell culture medium. The uptake of alumina NPs in macrophages and an increased cell-to-cell adhesion in adherent cells were observed. There was no significant change in the viability of 293 cells. This in vitro test suggests that the agglomeration and sedimentation of alumina NPs affected cellular viability depending on cell types such as monocytes (THP-1), macrophages (J774A.1), lung carcinoma cells (A549), and embryonic kidney cells (293).


Alumina nanoparticles Hydrodynamic size Sedimentation Cytotoxicity Cell viability EHS Health safety 



This study was supported by Energy Resources Technology R&D program (R200811041) under the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and WCU program through the NRF of Korea funded by the MEST (R31-2008-000-10029-0). J.H.K. and E-S.H. acknowledge a grant from Seoul National University Hospital (21-2005-0350).

Supplementary material

11051_2010_147_MOESM1_ESM.doc (4.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 4286 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dokyung Yoon
    • 1
  • Daekwang Woo
    • 2
  • Jung Heon Kim
    • 3
  • Moon Ki Kim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Taesung Kim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eung-Soo Hwang
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Seunghyun Baik
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.SKKU Advanced Institute of Nanotechnology (SAINT)Sungkyunkwan UniversitySuwonSouth Korea
  2. 2.School of Mechanical EngineeringSungkyunkwan UniversitySuwonSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologySeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Institute of Endemic DiseaseSeoul National University Medical Research CenterSeoulSouth Korea
  5. 5.Department of Energy ScienceSungkyunkwan UniversitySuwonSouth Korea

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