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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 32, Number 9
BKCSDE 32(9)
September 20, 2011 

Cytotoxic Potentials of Tellurium Nanowires in BALB/3T3 Fibroblast Cells
Sanjeev Kumar Mahto, T. P. Vinod, Jinkwon Kim, Seog Woo Rhee*
Tellurium nanowires, Cytotoxicity, Cell morphology, Nuclear structure, Reactive oxygen species
We have investigated the cytotoxic potential of tellurium (Te) nanowires in BALB/3T3 fibroblast cells. Te nanowires were synthesized through an aqueous phase surfactant assisted method. Toxicological experiments, such as analysis of morphological changes, MTT assay, DAPI staining, and estimation of intracellular reactive oxygen species, were carried out to reveal the cytotoxic effects of Te nanowires. Te nanowires were found to be cytotoxic at all concentrations tested, in a dose-dependent manner. The UV/Vis spectra of Te nanowires suspended in a culture medium showed drastic changes and disappearance of two broad absorption peaks. The physicochemical properties such as, surface charge, size, and shape of Te nanowires were found to be altered during exposure of cells, due to the instability and agglomeration of nanowires in the culture medium. These results suggest that the chemical components of the DMEM medium significantly affect the stability of Te nanowires. In addition, TEM images revealed that necrosis was the basic pattern of cell death, which might stem from the formation of toxic moieties of tellurium, released from nanowire structures, in the bioenvironment. These observations thus suggest that Te nanomaterials may pose potential risks to environmental and human health.
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