Cytotoxic effects of nickel nanowires in human fibroblasts

Laura P. Felix Servin, Jose E. Perez, Maria F. Contreras, Timothy Ravasi, Jürgen Kosel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The increasing interest in the use of magnetic nanostructures for biomedical applications necessitates rigorous studies to be carried out in order to determine their potential toxicity. This work attempts to elucidate the cytotoxic effects of nickel nanowires (NWs) in human fibroblasts WI-38 by a colorimetric assay (MTT) under two different parameters: NW concentration and exposure time. This was complemented with TEM and confocal images to assess the NWs internalization and to identify any changes in the cell morphology. Ni NWs were fabricated by electrodeposition using porous alumina templates. Energy dispersive X-Ray analysis, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy imaging were used for NW characterization. The results showed decreased cell metabolic activity for incubation times longer than 24 hours and no negative effects for exposure times shorter than that. The cytotoxicity effects for human fibroblasts were then compared with those reported for HCT 116 cells, and the findings point out that it is relevant to consider the cellular size. In addition, the present study compares the toxic effects of equivalent amounts of nickel in the form of its salt to those of NWs and shows that the NWs are more toxic than the salts. Internalized NWs were found in vesicles inside of the cells where their presence induced inflammation of the endoplasmic reticulum.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalToxicology Reports
StatePublished - Mar 9 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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