Nanotech 2010

Comparing Cytotoxicity of ZnO Nanoparticles in Exposure to Serum/Serum-free Cell Culture Medium

I.L. Hsiao, Y.J. Huang
National Tsing Hua University, TW

Keywords: nano-ZnO, cytotoxicity, serum, agglomeration state


The aim of this study is to evaluate the influence of serum in cell culture medium on nanotoxicity to human lung epithelial cells (A549). We found nano-ZnO had greater toxicity as it was suspended by serum-free medium, which could be attributed to serious agglomeration,rapid settlement of nanoparticles and starved cells. Nano-ZnO in 5% and 10% serum-contained medium had the same stable suspensions, and yet caused different toxicological responses in MTT and IL-8 assay. Though nanoparticles in serum-contained medium was stable, they still did not approach the real size distribution in air, which was monitored by Electrical Low Pressure Impactor (ELPI). In conclusion, serum-contained medium might be an appropriate environment to assess cytotoxicity of nano-ZnO, while its dispersibility still needed to be optimized and the content of serum should be regulated.
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