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Open AccessArticle

Cytotoxicity, Uptake Behaviors, and Oral Absorption of Food Grade Calcium Carbonate Nanomaterials

Department of Food Science and Technology, Seoul Women’s University, 621 Hwarang-ro, Nowon-gu, Seoul 139-774, Korea
Department of Chemistry and Medical Chemistry, College of Science and Technology, 1 Yonseidaegil, Wonju, Gangwondo 220-710, Korea
Center for Nanosafety Metrology, Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science, 267 Gajeong-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-340, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Subramanian Tamil Selvan
Nanomaterials 2015, 5(4), 1938-1954;
Received: 15 October 2015 / Revised: 1 November 2015 / Accepted: 4 November 2015 / Published: 10 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles Assisted Drug Delivery)
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in human body and essential for the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth as well as diverse cellular functions. Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is widely used as a dietary supplement; however, oral absorption efficiency of CaCO3 is extremely low, which may be overcome by applying nano-sized materials. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of food grade nano CaCO3 in comparison with that of bulk- or reagent grade nano CaCO3 in terms of cytotoxicity, cellular uptake, intestinal transport, and oral absorption. Cytotoxicity results demonstrated that nano-sized CaCO3 particles were slightly more toxic than bulk materials in terms of oxidative stress and membrane damage. Cellular uptake behaviors of CaCO3 nanoparticles were different from bulk CaCO3 or Ca2+ ions in human intestinal epithelial cells, showing efficient cellular internalization and elevated intracellular Ca2+ levels. Meanwhile, CaCO3 nanoparticles were efficiently transported by microfold (M) cells in vitro model of human intestinal follicle-associated epithelium, in a similar manner as Ca2+ ions did. Biokinetic study revealed that the biological fate of CaCO3 particles was different from Ca2+ ions; however, in vivo, its oral absorption was not significantly affected by particle size. These findings provide crucial information to understand and predict potential toxicity and oral absorption efficiency of food grade nanoparticles. View Full-Text
Keywords: calcium carbonate; cytotoxicity; cellular uptake; intestinal transport; oral absorption calcium carbonate; cytotoxicity; cellular uptake; intestinal transport; oral absorption
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Kim, M.-K.; Lee, J.-A.; Jo, M.-R.; Kim, M.-K.; Kim, H.-M.; Oh, J.-M.; Song, N.W.; Choi, S.-J. Cytotoxicity, Uptake Behaviors, and Oral Absorption of Food Grade Calcium Carbonate Nanomaterials. Nanomaterials 2015, 5, 1938-1954.

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