Biocompatibility of crystalline opal nanoparticles

Marlen Hernández-Ortiz, Laura S. Acosta-Torres, Genoveva Hernández-Padrón, Alicia I. Mendieta, Rodolfo Bernal, Catalina Cruz-Vázquez, Victor M. Castaño*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Silica nanoparticles are being developed as a host of biomedical and biotechnological applications. For this reason, there are more studies about biocompatibility of silica with amorphous and crystalline structure. Except hydrated silica (opal), despite is presents directly and indirectly in humans. Two sizes of crystalline opal nanoparticles were investigated in this work under criteria of toxicology.Methods: In particular, cytotoxic and genotoxic effects caused by opal nanoparticles (80 and 120 nm) were evaluated in cultured mouse cells via a set of bioassays, methylthiazolyldiphenyl-tetrazolium-bromide (MTT) and 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU).Results: 3T3-NIH cells were incubated for 24 and 72 h in contact with nanocrystalline opal particles, not presented significant statistically difference in the results of cytotoxicity. Genotoxicity tests of crystalline opal nanoparticles were performed by the BrdU assay on the same cultured cells for 24 h incubation. The reduction of BrdU-incorporated cells indicates that nanocrystalline opal exposure did not caused unrepairable damage DNA.Conclusions: There is no relationship between that particles size and MTT reduction, as well as BrdU incorporation, such that the opal particles did not induce cytotoxic effect and genotoxicity in cultured mouse cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number78
JournalBioMedical Engineering Online
StatePublished - 22 Oct 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank for excellent technical support to: Ph. D. Marina Vega González, Miguel A. Arellano, T. Daniel Mondragón and T. Antonio Prado. M. Hernández-Ortiz is recipient of doctoral fellowship from CONACyT.


  • BrdU and MTT assay
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Genototoxicity
  • Synthetic opal


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