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Biotecnología Aplicada

On-line version ISSN 1027-2852


GOMEZ-GALLEGO, Diana M; ESPINAL-CORREA, Claudia E  and  OSSA-GIRALDO, Ana C. Evaluation in vitro of the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of silica nanoparticle aggregates synthesized by the sol-gel method. Biotecnol Apl [online]. 2015, vol.32, n.1, pp.1201-1206. ISSN 1027-2852.

Amorphous silica nanoparticles (NPs) has become attractive for biomedical applications. In the present study, the toxicity of different concentrations of amorphous silica NPs of 27 nm was evaluated, such NPs synthesized by the sol-gel method assisted by reverse micelle microemulsion. Characterization of nanoparticles was done using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS). Cytotoxicity was assessed in CHO-K1 and Cal27 cell cultures by the reduction bromide 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-difeniltetrazol (MTT) test. Cellular viability and density tests were assessed in CHO-K1 cells with Trypan Blue, while genotoxicity was evaluated in the CHO-K1 cell line and in primary cultures of human lymphocytes using the Comet assay. Results showed that silica NPs produced cytotoxicity in both cell models in a dose dependent manner (12.5 µg/mL or higher), while genotoxicity was observed in CHO-K1 cells at all the concentrations tested (1.5625-12.5 µg/mL), but not in the primary cultures of human lymphocytes. The variability of the toxic effects of amorphous silica NPs, as dependent on NPs concentration and the cell line tested, among others, indicates that their applications could be determined by their use at non-toxic doses or through functionalization by chemical modifications to reduce their toxicity. These parameters, together with their unique chemical and physical properties could make NPs a feasible option for biomedical applications.

Keywords : silica nanoparticles; cytotoxicity; genotoxicity; nanotechnology; biomedicine.

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