, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 351–361 | Cite as

Synthesis, characterization and cytotoxicity of boron nitride nanoparticles: emphasis on toxicogenomics

  • Hasan Türkez
  • Mehmet Enes ArslanEmail author
  • Erdal Sönmez
  • Metin Açikyildiz
  • Abdulgani Tatar
  • Fatime Geyikoğlu
Original Article


Nanotechnology is increasingly developing area including more than 700 commercial products such as clothing, food preparation, cosmetics, mechanics, electronics and also health industry. People generally contact with nanoparticles by inhaling from air. Thus, it is becoming important issue to understand harmful effects of nanoparticles on human health and prepare risk reports for common nano-sized materials. In this paper, synthesis, characterization and cytotoxicity evaluation of boron nitride (BN) nanoparticles were performed on human primary alveolar epithelial cells (HPAEpiC) since, main exposure to nanoparticles would generally happen through lung via inhalation. Chemically synthetized BN nanoparticles were characterized by using X-ray crystallography, transmission electron microscope, scanning electron microscope and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy techniques. 3-(4,5-dimethyl-thiazol-2-yl) 2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide, neutral red and lactate dehydrogenase release assays were used to analyze cytotoxicity after nanoparticles exposure. Whole genome microarray analysis was used to find out the effects of BN NPs on gene expressions of HPAEpiC cells. Finally, the database for annotation, visualization and integrated discovery analysis was used to reveal relationships between different cellular pathways and nanoparticle exposure. According to cytotoxicity analysis LC20 value for BN nanoparticles was 125.051 mg/L. Microarray results showed that 2159 genes expression change (FC ≥ 2) significantly over 40,000 genes analysis. When the gene pathways were analyzed, it was seemed that BN nanoparticles mostly affect cell cycle, cell–cell interactions, cancer affecting genes and signal transduction. In a conclusion, our results supported for the first time that BN nanoparticles could be used as a safe nanomaterial in both pharmacological and medical applications.


Boron nitride nanoparticles In vitro Toxicogenomics Human alveolar epithelial cells Microarray 



This research was supported by National Boron Research Institute (BOREN) (Grant Number: Ç0391).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hasan Türkez
    • 1
  • Mehmet Enes Arslan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Erdal Sönmez
    • 2
    • 3
  • Metin Açikyildiz
    • 4
  • Abdulgani Tatar
    • 5
  • Fatime Geyikoğlu
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Faculty of ScienceErzurum Technical UniversityErzurumTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Physics, Kazım Karabekir Education FacultyAtatürk UniversityErzurumTurkey
  3. 3.Advanced Materials Research Laboratory, Department of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, Graduate School of Natural and Applied SciencesAtatürk UniversityErzurumTurkey
  4. 4.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and ArtKilis 7 Aralık UniversityKilisTurkey
  5. 5.Department of Medical Genetics, Medical FacultyAtatürk UniversityErzurumTurkey
  6. 6.Department of Biology, Faculty of Arts and SciencesAtatürk UniversityErzurumTurkey

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