In Vitro Toxicity of Silica Nanoparticles in Human Lung Cancer Cells


The cytotoxicity of 15-nm and 46-nm silica nanoparticles was investigated by using crystalline silica (Min-U-Sil 5) as a positive control in cultured human bronchoalveolar carcinoma-derived cells. Exposure to 15-nm or 46-nm SiO2 nanoparticles for 48 h at dosage levels between 10 and 100 µg/ml decreased cell viability in a dose-dependent manner. Both SiO2 nanoparticles were more cytotoxic than Min-U-Sil 5; however, the cytotoxicities of 15-nm and 46-nm silica nanoparticles were not significantly different. The 15-nm SiO2 nanoparticles were used to determine time-dependent cytotoxicity and oxidative stress responses. Cell viability decreased significantly as a function of both nanoparticle dosage (10-100 µg/ml) and exposure time (24 h, 48 h, and 72 h). Indicators of oxidative stress and cytotoxicity, including total reactive oxygen species (ROS), glutathione, malondialdehyde, and lactate dehydrogenase, were quantitatively assessed. Exposure to SiO2 nanoparticles increased ROS levels and reduced glutathione levels. The increased production of malondialdehyde and lactate dehydrogenase release from the cells indicated lipid peroxidation and membrane damage. In summary, exposure to SiO2 nanoparticles results in a dose-dependent cytotoxicity in cultural human bronchoalveolar carcinoma-derived cells that is closely correlated to increased oxidative stress.


Biological Sciences

Second Department

Materials Science and Engineering

Third Department


Keywords and Phrases

Glutathione; Lactate Dehydrogenase; Malonaldehyde; Reactive Oxygen Metabolite; Silicon Dioxide; Cancer Cell; Cell Viability; Controlled Study; Crystal; Cytotoxicity; Human; Human Cell; In Vitro Study; Lipid Peroxidation; Lung Alveolus Cell Carcinoma; Lung Cancer; Membrane Damage; Nanoparticle; Oxidative Stress; Quantitative Analysis; Adenocarcinoma, Bronchiolo-Alveolar; Cell Line, Tumor; Cell Survival; Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid; Dose-Response Relationship, Drug; Glutathione; Humans; L-Lactate Dehydrogenase; Lipid Peroxidation; Lung Neoplasms; Malondialdehyde; Nanoparticles; Oxidative Stress; Particle Size; Reactive Oxygen Species; Silicon Dioxide

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Oxidative stress

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2006 Academic Press Inc., All rights reserved.