Are stirring and sonication pre-dispersion methods equivalent for in vitro toxicology evaluation of SiC and TiC?

  • Jorge MejiaEmail author
  • Vanessa Valembois
  • Jean-Pascal Piret
  • Frans Tichelaar
  • Marijn van Huis
  • Bernard Masereel
  • Olivier Toussaint
  • Joseph Delhalle
  • Zineb Mekhalif
  • Stéphane Lucas
Research Paper


The evolution of the particle size distribution and the surface composition of silicon carbide and titanium carbide nanoparticle (NP) dispersions were studied. The pre-dispersions were prepared using two commonly used protocols for dispersion: stirring and sonication. Two dispersants were investigated (water and Pluronic F108 1 %) at two stages: pre-dispersion and during in vitro assays. Our data show that for each tested condition, different time-dependent results for the surface chemical composition as well as size and percentage of the agglomerates and the primary particles are observed. De-agglomeration and successive or simultaneous cleaning-wrapping cycles of the nanomaterial are observed and are related to the dispersion method and the medium as well as to the chemical stability of the NP surface. Biological response during in vitro assessment was also performed for one given pre-dispersion time condition and demonstrates that the preparation method significantly alters the results.


SiC nanoparticles TiC nanoparticles Particle size distribution Surface composition Protocol of dispersion In vitro assays Effective dose Environmental and health effects 



This work is supported by the “Direction Générale des Technologies de la Recherche et de l’Energie” (DGTRE) of the Walloon Region of Belgium (Nanotoxico Project, RW/FUNDP research convention No. 516252). O. Toussaint is a Research Associate of the Belgian FRS/FNRS. The authors acknowledge financial support from the European Union under the Framework 6 program under a contract for the Integrated Infrastructure Initiative. Reference 026019 ESTEEM and Framework 7 program, Qnano (INFRASTRUCTURE-2010-1-262163).

Supplementary material

11051_2012_815_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 2441 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge Mejia
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vanessa Valembois
    • 1
  • Jean-Pascal Piret
    • 2
  • Frans Tichelaar
    • 3
  • Marijn van Huis
    • 3
  • Bernard Masereel
    • 4
  • Olivier Toussaint
    • 2
  • Joseph Delhalle
    • 5
  • Zineb Mekhalif
    • 5
  • Stéphane Lucas
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Centre for the Physics of Matter and Radiation (LARN-PMR), NARILISUniversity of Namur-FUNDPNamurBelgium
  2. 2.Research Unit in Cellular Biology (URBC), NARILISUniversity of Namur-FUNDPNamurBelgium
  3. 3.National Centre for HRTEM, Kavli Institute of NanoscienceDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Pharmacy NAMEDIC, Namur Thrombosis and Hemostasis Center (NTHC)University of Namur-FUNDPNamurBelgium
  5. 5.Laboratory of Chemistry and Electrochemistry of Surfaces—CESUniversity of Namur-FUNDPNamurBelgium

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