CTAB Surfactant Assisted and High pH Nano-Formulations of CuO Nanoparticles Pose Greater Cytotoxic and Genotoxic Effects.


Department of Zoology, Khalsa College, Amritsar, Punjab, 143001, India. [Email]


Toxicity of synthesized nanoparticles is the area of concern to all the researchers due to their possible health implications. Here we synthesized copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO NPs) without surfactant at pH value of 2, 7, 10 and with cetyletrimethylammoniumbromide (CTAB) surfactant at pH 7. Synthesized nanoparticles were characterized for various structural parameters including crystallite size, lattice parameters, strain, phase analysis using X-ray diffraction analysis, and morphological aspects have been analyzed using FESEM and HRTEM imaging. All the four nano-formulations were analyzed for their toxic potential using Allium cepa L. at three different concentrations (0.1, 0.01 and 0.001 g/100 ml). Cytological and genetic parameters including mitotic index, mitotic inhibition, aberrant cells, binucleated cells, micronucleated cells, chromosomal bridges, fragmentation, stickiness, laggards, vagrants, c-mitosis and disturbed spindle were analyzed. Our results revealed a dose dependent increase in cytotoxic parameters including decreased total dividing cells, mitotic index, and increased mitotic inhibition. Genotoxic parameters also increased at higher treatment concentrations including chromosomal aberrations and percent aberrant cells. The pH value at the time of particle synthesis has significant influence on the crystallite size and agglomeration as assessed by XRD, FESEM and HRTEM analysis. The NPs synthesized at pH 2 and 10 were found to be of smaller size and posed more toxic effects as compared to particles synthesized at neutral pH. On the other hand, CTAB assisted CuO NPs synthesized at pH 7 revealed even smaller crystallite sizes and thus boost the toxicity in all the parameters as compared to NPs synthesized without CTAB. The present study suggested an increase in toxic parameters of synthesized CuO NPs with respect to crystallite size which is pH dependent. Addition of CTAB at pH 7 decreased the crystallite as well as particle size and enhanced the toxic potential. Further studies are recommended to analyze the effect of surfactant addition in toxicological studies on CuO NPs.