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Effect of Carbon Nanotubes on Chinese Hamster Ovarian Cells

H.H. Chen, J.A. Luca, M. Chen
Point Loma Nazarene University, US

Keywords: carbon nanotube, biocompatibility, toxicity, ovarian cells


We report the effect of carbon nanotubes at the cellular level using purified single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) resuspended in physiological compatible phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and systematically study its impact on Chinese Hamster Ovarian (CHO) cells. Our experimental design takes advantage of: (1) The ease of visualizing the SWNTs intake in real-time. (2) The well characterized morphological changes associated with cellular stress. (3) Serial quantification of cell survival with highly sensitive bioluminescence-based imaging. Our results show that the intake of SWNTs increases with increasing concentration. We also found a dramatic decrease in cell survival with time at low SWNTs concentrations. The toxicity at low concentrations suggests careful consideration in in vivo applications, especially given the reported wide biodistribution, as well as the potential impact to the environment. Only through careful biological understanding of the highly complex and context-dependent nanomaterial toxicity at the cellular level can we begin to realize the immense potential advanced nanotechnology has to offer.
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