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