Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 199–212 | Cite as

Systematic evaluation of biocompatibility of magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles with six different mammalian cell lines

  • Yingxun Liu
  • Zhongping Chen
  • Jinke Wang
Research Paper


This article systematically evaluated the biocompatibility of multiple mammalian cell lines to 11-nm DMSA-coated Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs). Cells including RAW264.7, THP-1, Hepa1-6, HepG2, HL-7702, and HeLa were incubated with six different concentrations (0, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 100 μg/mL) of MNPs for 48 h, and then the cell labeling, iron loading, cell viability, apoptosis, cycle, and oxidative stress were all quantitatively evaluated. The results revealed that all the cells were effectively labeled by the nanoparticles; however, the iron loading of RAW264.7 was significantly higher than that of other cells at any dose. The proliferations of all the cells were not significantly suppressed by MNPs at the studied dose except HepG2 that was exposed to 100 μg/mL MNPs. The investigation of oxidative stress demonstrated that the levels of total superoxide dismutase and xanthine oxidase had no significant changes in all the cells treated by all the doses of MNPs, while the levels of malonyldialdehyde activity of MNP-treated cells significantly increased. The nanoparticles did not produce any significant effect on cell cycles at any of the doses, but resulted in significant apoptosis of THP-1 and HepG2 cells at the highest concentration of 100 μg/mL. At a concentration of 30 μg/mL which was used in human studies with an intravascular nanoparticle imaging agent (Combidex), the nanoparticles efficiently labeled all the cells studied, but did not produce any significant influence on their viability, oxidative stress, and apoptosis and cycle. Therefore, the nanoparticles were concluded with better biocompatibility, which provided some useful information for its clinical applications.


Magnetic nanoparticles Uptake Biocompatibility Oxidative stress Apoptosis Health and safety 



This investigation was partially funded by the National Important Science Research Program of China (Nos. 2006CB933205).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Bioelectronics, School of Biological Science and Medical EngineeringSoutheast UniversityNanjingChina

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