Assessing the Genotoxicity of Cellulose Nanomaterials in a Co-Culture of Human Lung Epithelial Cells and Monocyte-Derived Macrophages

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Abstract

Cellulose micro/nanomaterials (CMNMs) are innovative materials with a wide spectrum of industrial and biomedical applications. Although cellulose has been recognized as a safe material, the unique properties of its nanosized forms have raised concerns about their safety for human health. Genotoxicity is an endpoint that must be assessed to ensure that no carcinogenic risks are associated with exposure to nanomaterials. In this study, we evaluated the genotoxicity of two types of cellulose micro/nanofibrils (CMF and CNF) and one sample of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC), obtained from industrial bleached Eucalyptus globulus kraft pulp. For that, we exposed co-cultures of human alveolar epithelial A549 cells and THP-1 monocyte-derived macrophages to a concentration range of each CMNM and used the micronucleus (MN) and comet assays. Our results showed that only the lowest concentrations of the CMF sample were able to induce DNA strand breaks (FPG-comet assay). However, none of the three CMNMs produced significant chromosomal alterations (MN assay). These findings, together with results from previous in vitro studies using monocultures of A549 cells, indicate that the tested CNF and CNC are not genotoxic under the conditions tested, while the CMF display a low genotoxic potential.

Original languageEnglish
Article number986
JournalBioengineering
Volume10
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • biocompatibility
  • nanocrystalline cellulose
  • nanofibrillated cellulose
  • respiratory effects
  • safety assessment

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