Single walled carbon nanotube reactivity and cytotoxicity following extended aqueous exposure

Barbara J. Panessa-Warren, Mathew M. Maye, John B. Warren, Kenya M. Crosson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Globally carbon nanoparticles are increasingly utilized, yet it is not known if these nanoparticles pose a threat to the environment or human health. This investigation examined 'as-prepared', and acid cleaned carbon nanoparticle physicochemical characteristics (by FTIR, TEM, FESEM, UV-VIS and X-ray microanalysis), and whether these characteristics changed following 2.5-7 yr exposure to pH neutral saline or fresh water. To determine if these aqueous aged nanotubes were cytotoxic, these nanotubes were incubated with human epithelial monolayers and analyzed for cell viability (vital staining) and ultrastructural nanoparticle binding/localization (TEM, FESEM). The presence of Ni and Y catalyst, was less damaging to cells than CNT lattice surface oxidation. Extended fresh water storage of oxidized CNTs did not reduce surface reactive groups, nor lessen cell membrane destruction or cell death. However storing oxidized CNTs in saline or NOM significantly reduced CNT-induced cell membrane damage and increased cell survival to control levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1140-1151
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon lattice oxidation
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Cytotoxicity
  • FTIR
  • Human lung cells
  • NOM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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