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Comparative Cytotoxicity of Al2O3, CeO2, TiO2 and ZnO Nanoparticles to Human Lung Cells

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The increased applications of nanoparticles in a wide range of industrial fields raise the concern about their potential toxicity to human. The aim of this study was to assess and compare the toxicity of four different oxide nanoparticles (Al2O3, CeO2, TiO2 and ZnO) to human lung epithelial cells, A549 carcinoma cells and L-132 normal cells, in vitro. We focused on the toxicological effects of the present nanoparticles on cell proliferation, cell viability, membrane integrity and oxidative stress. The long-term cytotoxicity of nanoparticles was also evaluated by employing the clonogenic assay. Among four nanoparticles tested, ZnO exhibited the highest cytotoxicity in terms of cell proliferation, cell viability, membrane integrity and colony formation in both cell lines. Al2O3, CeO2 and TiO2 showed little adverse effects on cell proliferation and cell viability. However, TiO2 induced oxidative stress in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. CeO2 caused membrane damage and inhibited colony formation in long-term, but with different degree depending on cell lines. Al2O3 seems to be less toxic than the other nanoparticles even after long time exposure. These results highlight the need for caution during manufacturing process of nanomaterials as well as further investigation on the toxicity mechanism.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-05-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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