In vitro cytotoxicity screening of water-dispersible metal oxide nanoparticles in human cell lines


In this study, we present in vitro cytotoxicity of iron oxide (Fe3O4) and manganese oxide (MnO) using live/dead cell assay, lactate dehydrogenase assay, and reactive oxygen species detection with variation of the concentration of nanoparticles (5–500 μg/ml), incubation time (18–96 h), and different human cell lines (lung adenocarcinoma, breast cancer cells, and glioblastoma cells). The surface of nanoparticles is modified with polyethyleneglycol-derivatized phospholipid to enhance the biocompatibility, water-solubility, and stability under an aqueous media. While the cytotoxic effect was negligible for 18 h incubation even at highest concentration of 500 μg/ml, MnO nanoparticle represented higher level of toxicity than those of Fe3O4 and the commercial medical contrast reagent, Feridex after 2 and 4 day incubation time. However, the cytotoxicity of Fe3O4 is equivalent or better than Feridex based on the live/dead cell viability assay. The engineered MnO and Fe3O4 exhibited excellent stability compared with Feridex for a prolonged incubation time.

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This research was supported in part by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) (No. R11-2001-089-10002-0).

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Correspondence to Tae Seok Seo.

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Choi, J.Y., Lee, S.H., Na, H.B. et al. In vitro cytotoxicity screening of water-dispersible metal oxide nanoparticles in human cell lines. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 33, 21 (2010).

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  • Water-dispersible Fe3O4 and MnO nanoparticle
  • Magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Nanotoxicology