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Lung toxicities of core–shell nanoparticles composed of carbon, cobalt, and silica

Authors Al Samri MT, Silva R, Almarzooqi S, Albawardi A, Othman AR, Al Hanjeri RS, Al Dawaar SK, Tariq S, Souid AK, Asefa T

Received 28 October 2012

Accepted for publication 22 December 2012

Published 21 March 2013 Volume 2013:8(1) Pages 1223—1244

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S39649

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Mohammed T Al Samri,1,* Rafael Silva,2,* Saeeda Almarzooqi,3 Alia Albawardi,3 Aws Rashad Diab Othman,1 Ruqayya SMS Al Hanjeri,1 Shaikha KM Al Dawaar,1 Saeed Tariq,4 Abdul-Kader Souid,1 Tewodros Asefa2,5

1Department of Pediatrics, United Arab Emirates University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; 2Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ, USA; 3Department of Pathology, 4Department of Anatomy, United Arab Emirates University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; 5Department of Chemical Engineering and Biochemical Engineering, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: We present here comparative assessments of murine lung toxicity (biocompatibility) after in vitro and in vivo exposures to carbon (C–SiO2-etched), carbon–silica (C–SiO2), carbon–cobalt–silica (C–Co–SiO2), and carbon–cobalt oxide–silica (C–Co3O4–SiO2) nanoparticles. These nanoparticles have potential applications in clinical medicine and bioimaging, and thus their possible adverse events require thorough investigation. The primary aim of this work was to explore whether the nanoparticles are biocompatible with pneumatocyte bioenergetics (cellular respiration and adenosine triphosphate content). Other objectives included assessments of caspase activity, lung structure, and cellular organelles. Pneumatocyte bioenergetics of murine lung remained preserved after treatment with C–SiO2-etched or C–SiO2 nanoparticles. C–SiO2-etched nanoparticles, however, increased caspase activity and altered lung structure more than C–SiO2 did. Consistent with the known mitochondrial toxicity of cobalt, both C–Co–SiO2 and C–Co3O4–SiO2 impaired lung tissue bioenergetics. C–Co–SiO2, however, increased caspase activity and altered lung structure more than C–Co3O4–SiO2. The results indicate that silica shell is essential for biocompatibility. Furthermore, cobalt oxide is the preferred phase over the zerovalent Co(0) phase to impart biocompatibility to cobalt-based nanoparticles.

Keywords: carbon nanoparticles, cobalt nanoparticles, silica nanoparticles, cobalt oxide nanoparticles, biocompatibility, nanotoxicology

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