Biochemical Changes in Human Cells Exposed to Low Concentrations of Gold Nanoparticles Detected by Raman Microspectroscopy.


Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Università di Foggia, 71122 Foggia, Italy. [Email]


The toxicological implications of nanoparticles deserve accurate scientific investigation for the protection of human health. Although toxic effects involve specific organs, the events that cause them have their origin from biochemical modifications of some cellular constituents. Therefore, a first analysis to evaluate the effects due to the action of nanoparticles is achieved by investigation of in vitro cells, which allows the identification of the cellular modifications caused by nanoparticles (NPs) even at much lower doses than the lethal ones. This work evaluated the Raman microspectroscopy capability to monitor biochemical changes occurring in human cells as a consequence of exposure to a suspension of gold nanoparticles with a non-cytotoxic concentration. Human keratinocyte cells were used as a model cell line, because they are mainly involved in environmental exposure. A trypan blue assay revealed that the investigated concentration, 650 ng/mL, is non-cytotoxic (about 5% of cells died after 48 h exposure). Specific Raman spectral markers to represent the cell response to nanoparticle exposure were found (at 1450 and 2865 cm-1) in the cytoplasm spectra, with the aid of ratiometric and principal component analysis.


Raman microspectroscopy,human cells,nanotoxicology,

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