Differential cytotoxicity of metal oxide nanoparticles

Jian Chen, Jinmin Zhu, Hyun Hee Cho, Kemi Cui, Fuhai Li, Xiaobo Zhou, Jack T. Rogers, Stephen T.C. Wong, Xudong Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Concerns about the potential health hazards of nanomaterials are growing. To determine the potential toxicity of metal oxide nanoparticles, human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma and H4 neuroglioma cells were exposed to Fe2O3, CuO and ZnO nanoparticles and their metal ion counterparts (Fe3+, Cu2+ and Zn3+) at a concentration range of 0.01-100 μM for 48 h, under the cell culture conditions: 95% O2, 5% CO2, 85% humidity, 37°C. Their ensemble cell viability was determined by MTS cell proliferation assay. A live/dead cell assay was also performed, and cellular images were acquired by a high-content fluorescence microscope and quantified by a novel computerised image analysis protocol. Our data indicated that exposure of these nanoparticles induced differential toxic effects in both SH-SY5Y and H4 cells, and the cells had dose-dependent toxic responses to the CuO nanoparticle insult. In conclusion, the toxic responses of the nanoparticles are complex, and they warrant further in vivo studies. However, it remains to be determined if these nanopartilces have synergistically enhancing or cancelling toxic effects upon both SH-SY5Y and H4 cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-328
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Nanoscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Cytotoxicity
  • H4 neuroglioma cell
  • High-content cell imaging
  • Metal oxide nanoparticles
  • SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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