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Toxicity of TiO2, ZnO, and SiO2 Nanoparticles in Human Lung Cells: Safe-by-Design Development of Construction Materials

1
J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry of the CAS, Dolejskova 3, 18223 Prague, Czech Republic
2
Institute of Experimental Medicine of the CAS, Videnska 1083, 14220 Prague, Czech Republic
3
Institute of Molecular Genetics of the CAS, Microscopy Center, Electron Microscopy Core Facility, 14220 Prague, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 968; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9070968
Received: 22 May 2019 / Revised: 26 June 2019 / Accepted: 29 June 2019 / Published: 2 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Design for Safer Nanotechnology)
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Abstract

Rapid progress in the development of highly efficient nanoparticle-based construction technologies has not always been accompanied by a corresponding understanding of their effects on human health and ecosystems. In this study, we compare the toxicological effects of pristine TiO2, ZnO, SiO2, and coated SiO2 nanoparticles, and evaluate their suitability as additives to consolidants of weathered construction materials. First, water soluble tetrazolium 1 (WST-1) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assays were used to determine the viability of human alveolar A549 cells at various nanoparticle concentrations (0–250 μg mL−1). While the pristine TiO2 and coated SiO2 nanoparticles did not exhibit any cytotoxic effects up to the highest tested concentration, the pristine SiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles significantly reduced cell viability. Second, as all developed nanoparticle-modified consolidants increased the mechanical strength of weathered sandstone, the decisive criterion for the selection of the most suitable nanoparticle additive was as low toxicity as possible. We believe that this approach would be of high importance in the industry, to identify materials representing top functional properties and low toxicity, at an early stage of the product development. View Full-Text
Keywords: SiO2 nanoparticles; ZnO nanoparticles; TiO2 nanoparticles; toxicity; ethyl silicate consolidants SiO2 nanoparticles; ZnO nanoparticles; TiO2 nanoparticles; toxicity; ethyl silicate consolidants
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Remzova, M.; Zouzelka, R.; Brzicova, T.; Vrbova, K.; Pinkas, D.; Rőssner, P.; Topinka, J.; Rathousky, J. Toxicity of TiO2, ZnO, and SiO2 Nanoparticles in Human Lung Cells: Safe-by-Design Development of Construction Materials. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 968.

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