In vitro investigation of the effects of boron nitride nanotubes and curcumin on DNA damage

  • Tuğbagül Çal
  • Ülkü Ündeğer BucurgatEmail author
Research Article



Stem cells provide an opportunity to analyse the effects of xenobiotic on cell viability, differentiation and cell functions. Evaluation of the possible cytotoxic and DNA damaging effects on bone marrow CD34+ stem cells is important for their ability to differentiate into blood cells, and also for bone marrow diseases therapy. Boron nitride nanotubes and curcumin are potential nanoformulation agents that can be used together in the treatment of cancer or bone marrow diseases. Therefore, it is important to evaluate their possible effects on different cell lines.


In this study, it was aimed to evaluate the cytotoxic and DNA damaging effects of boron nitride nanotubes which are commonly used in pyroelectric, piezoelectric and optical applications, but there is not enough information about its biocompatibility. Also, it was intended to research the effects of curcumin being used frequently in treatment processes for antioxidant properties.


The possible cytotoxic and DNA damaging effects of boron nitride nanotubes and curcumin on CD34+ cells, HeLa and V79 cells were evaluated by MTT assay and Comet assay, respectively.

Results and conclusion

Boron nitride nanotubes and curcumin had cytotoxic effects and cause DNA damage on CD34+ cells, HeLa and V79 cells at several concentrations, probably because of increased ROS level. However, there were not concentration - dependent effect and there were controversial toxicity results of the studied cell lines. Its mechanism needs to be enlightened by further analysis for potential targeted drug development.

Graphical abstract


Bone marrow CD34+ stem cell Boron nitride Curcumin Comet assay V79 cell HeLa cell 



This study is supported by Hacettepe University Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit under Grant number THD-2015-8174.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical Toxicology, Faculty of PharmacyHacettepe UniversityAnkaraTurkey

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