Crucial Ignored Parameters on Nanotoxicology: The Importance of Toxicity Assay Modifications and “Cell Vision”

Image: Ultrasmall Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticle {USPIO-NP} | Source: NIH Library {USA}, Imaging Probe Development Center Database


,, Until now, the results of nanotoxicology research have shown that the interactions between nanoparticles (NPs) and cells are remarkably complex. In order to get a deep understanding of the NP-cell interactions, scientists have focused on the physicochemical effects. However, there are still considerable debates about the regulation of nanomaterials and the reported results are usually in contradictions. Here, we are going to introduce the potential key reasons for these conflicts. In this case, modification of conventional in vitro toxicity assays, is one of the crucial ignored matter in nanotoxicological sciences. More specifically, the conventional methods neglect important factors such as the sedimentation of NPs and absorption of proteins and other essential biomolecules onto the surface of NPs. Another ignored matter in nanotoxicological sciences is the effect of cell “vision” (i.e., cell type). In order to show the effects of these ignored subjects, we probed the effect of superparamagnetic iron oxide NPs (SPIONs), with various surface chemistries, on various cell lines. We found thatthe modification of conventional toxicity assays and the consideration of the “cell vision” concept are crucial matters to obtain reliable, and reproducible nanotoxicology data. These new concepts offer a suitable way to obtain a deep understanding on the cell-NP interactions. In addition, by consideration of these ignored factors, the conflict of future toxicological reports would be significantly decreased.,,


Sophie Laurent 1, Carmen Burtea1, Coralie Thirifays1, Urs O. Häfeli2, Morteza Mahmoudi 3,4*

1 Department of General, Organic, and Biomedical Chemistry, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Molecular Imaging Laboratory, University of Mons, Mons, Belgium, 2 Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, 3 National Cell Bank, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran, 4 Nanotechnology Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


PLoS ONE 7(1): e29997. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029997. 10 January 2012



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