Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 175, Issue 2, pp 458–465 | Cite as

In Vitro Toxicological Assessment of Cobalt Ferrite Nanoparticles in Several Mammalian Cell Types

  • Mahmoud Abudayyak
  • Tuba Altincekic Gurkaynak
  • Gül ÖzhanEmail author


Nanoparticles have been widely used in various fields due to the superior physicochemical properties and functions. As a result, human exposure to nanoparticles increases dramatically. Previous researches have shown that nanoparticles could travel through the respiratory, digestive system, or skin into the blood and then to the secondary organs such as the brain, heart, and liver. Besides, the nanoparticle toxicity is controversial and dependent on the sensitivity of the cell type, route of exposure, and condition, as well as their characteristics. Similarly, cobalt ferrite nanoparticles (CoFe2O4-NPs) have been used in different industrial fields, and have also various application possibilities in medical and biomedical fields. CoFe2O4-NPs induce toxic responses in various organisms such as human, mice, and algae. However, there is a serious deficit of information concerning their effects on human health and the environment. We aimed to investigate the toxic effects of CoFe2O4-NPs on liver (HepG2), colon (Caco-2), lung (A549), and neuron (SH-SY5Y) cells, which reflect different exposure routes in vitro, by using various toxicological endpoints. The cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, oxidative damage, and apoptosis induction of CoFe2O4-NPs (39 ± 17 nm) were evaluated. After 24 h, the nanoparticles decreased cell viability at ≤100 μg/mL, while increasing viability at >100 μg/mL. CoFe2O4-NPs induced DNA and oxidative damage with increased malondialdehyde (MDA) and 8-hydroxy deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) levels and decreased glutathione (GSH) levels with no change in protein carbonyl (PC) levels. CoFe2O4-NPs had apoptotic effect in HepG2 and Caco-2 cells in a concentration-dependent manner and necrotic effects on SH-SY5Y and A549 cells. Consequently, the adverse effects of CoFe2O4-NPs should raise concern about their safety in consumer products.


Genotoxicity Cytotoxicity Oxidative damage Nanoparticle Cobalt ferrite 



8-Hydroxy deoxyguanosine


American type culture collection


Annexin V–FITC


Cobalt ferrite nanoparticles


Dulbecco’s modified eagle medium


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid


Enzyme-linked immune sorbent assay


Eagle’s minimum essential medium


Fetal bovine serum




Hydrogen peroxide


International Agency for Research on Cancer


Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry




3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide


Neutral red uptake


Optical density


Phosphate buffered saline


Protein carbonyl


Propidium iodide


Reactive oxygen species


Standard deviation


Transmission electron microscopy



This work was supported by the Research Fund of Istanbul University (Project No: 40441).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahmoud Abudayyak
    • 1
  • Tuba Altincekic Gurkaynak
    • 2
  • Gül Özhan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical ToxicologyIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Faculty of Engineering, Department of Chemical EngineeringIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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