Nanotech 2011

In vitro cytotoxicity assessment of nano-particulate silver in mammalian cell lines

S.G. Mukherjee
Focas Institute, Dublin Institute of Technology, IE

Keywords: nanotoxicity, lysosomal activity, mitochondrial metabolism, cellular metabolism, protein content, ROS, adenylate kinase, apoptosis


In this study the cytotoxic effect of commercially available Ag nanopowder was evaluated using four different cell lines, namely SW480 (ATCC, CCL-228), HT29 (ATCC, HTB-38TM), HeLa (ATCC, CCL-2TM) and HaCaT. Prior to the cellular studies a full particle size characterisation was carried out using Dynamic Light Scattering, Transmission Electron Microscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy. The surface charge and Zeta Potential associated with the nano Ag was also determined in order to assess its stability in solution. The toxic effects of Ag nanopowder were then evaluated using five cytotoxic endpoints namely the lysosomal activity, mitochondrial metabolism, adenylate kinase release, basic cellular metabolism, cellular protein content and cellular proliferative capacity. The cytotoxic effect of Ag nanoparticle was dependant on dose, exposure time and on cell line tested. Further investigation was carried out on HeLa and HaCaT cell lines to elucidate the mechanism of its cytotoxicity. The Ag nanopowder was noted to induce elevated levels of oxidative stress and apoptosis. Overall, significant differences are observed between the responses of the four different cell lines, and it is suggested that these can be understood in terms of differing intrinsic antioxidant levels.

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