Cytotoxic Effect of Lipophilic Bismuth Dimercaptopropanol Nanoparticles on Epithelial Cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • Bismuth nanoparticles have many interesting properties to be applied in biomedical and medicinal sectors, however their safety in humans have not been comprehensively investigated. The objective of this research was to determine the cytotoxic effect of bismuth dimercaptopropanol nanoparticles (BisBAL NPs) on epithelial cells. The nanoparticles are composed of 18.7 nm crystallites on average and have a rhombohedral structure, agglomerating into chains-like or clusters of small nanoparticles. Based on MTT viability assay and fluorescence microscopy, cytotoxicity was not observed on monkey kidney cells after growing with 5 M of BisBAL NPs for 24 h. Employing same techniques, identical results were obtained with human epithelial cells (HeLa), showing a not strain-dependent phenomenon. The absence of toxic effects on epithelial cells growing with BisBAL NPs was corroborated with long-time experiments (24-72 hrs.), showing no difference in comparison with growing control (cells without nanoparticles). Further, genotoxicity assays, comet assay and fluorescent microscopy and electrophoresis in bromide-stained agarose gel revealed no damage to genomic DNA of MA104 cells after 24 h. of exposition to BisBAL NPs. Finally, the effect of bismuth nanoparticles on protein synthesis was studied in cells growing with BisBAL NPs for 24 h. SDS-PAGE assays showed no difference between treated and untreated cells, suggesting that BisBAL NPs did not interfere with protein synthesis. Hence BisBAL NPs do not appear to exert cytotoxic effects suggesting their biological compatibility with epithelial cells.

published proceedings

  • J Nanosci Nanotechnol

author list (cited authors)

  • Rene, H., Badireddy, A. R., Jos, M., Francisco, C., Israel, M., Isela, S., Chellam, S., & Claudio, C.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Rene, Hernandez-Delgadillo||Badireddy, Appala Raju||José, Martínez-Sanmiguel Juan||Francisco, Contreras-Cordero Juan||Israel, Martinez-Gonzalez Gustavo||Isela, Sánchez-Nájera Rosa||Chellam, Shankararaman||Claudio, Cabral-Romero

publication date

  • January 2016