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Table 1 The in vitro effects of IONPs

From: Iron oxide nanoparticles may damage to the neural tissue through iron accumulation, oxidative stress, and protein aggregation

Cell type NP type Size (nm) Concentration (μg mL−1) Coating Functional group Explantations
Murine macrophage cell line (J774) Fe2O3 30 25–500 Tween 80 Hydroxyl Dose- and time-dependent reduction of viability, cell membrane damage, and induction of apoptosis by ROS [17]
Chick cortical neurons Fe3O4 10 2655, 5310 Aminosilane Amine PEA, compared with others coatings, strongly declined metabolic activity and cell viability and destroyed cell membrane [45].
Dextran Hydroxyl
PEA Amine
Porcine aortic endothelial cells Fe3O4 5 or 30 500 None (Bare) Hydroxyl Significant increasing of cell elongation and cell death were seen by bare NPs. Bare 30-NPs incited ROS formation; but coated 30-NPs and bare 5-NPs didn’t induce significant ROS formation. [50].
Dextran Hydroxyl
PEG Hydroxyl
Human dermal fibroblast Fe3O4 10 0–1000 None (Bare) Hydroxyl Coating of NPs by TEOS-APTMS and APTMS intensified toxicity and led to a dose-dependent decreased viability, membrane damage, and declined the stability of DNA [46].
100–150 0–1000 SiO2 and TEOS Hydroxyl
100–150 0–1000 SiO2, TEOS, and APTMS Amine
10 0–1000 APTMS Amine
Human fibrosarcoma cells Fe3O4 10 0–800 None (Bare) Hydroxyl Membrane damage and decreased the stability of DNA [46]
Rat pheochromocytoma cells (PC12) Fe2O3 36 25–200 APTS Amine Increased ROS, reduced GSH, and induced apoptosis [55]
Human breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) Fe3O4 11 50–200 None (Bare) Hydroxyl Dose-dependent reduction of viability [66]
Human neuroblastoma cell line (SH-SY5Y) Fe2O3 10 2.5–10 None (Bare) Hydroxyl Decreased dopamine levels, induction of oxidative stress, and reducing of cell proliferation [39]
30 2.5–10 Oleic acid and PEG Carboxyl
Rat brain microvessel endothelial cells Fe2O3 10 1, 10, and100 None (bare) Hydroxyl Significant increase in ROS level by 10 nm-NPs. Damage to the membrane by both NPs [39].
30 1–100 Oleic acid and PEG Carboxyl
Human hepatocyte carcinoma cell line (Hep G-2) Hollow sphere Fe2O3 200 25–200 Carbon particles Hydroxyl and carbonyl Dose-dependent diminished viability [56]
Mouse Fibroblastic Cell Line (L929) Fe3O4 20 100 None (bare) Hydroxyl Decreased toxicity of H2O2 [40]
Rat pheochromocytoma cells (PC12) Fe3O4 20 100 None (bare) Hydroxyl Decreased toxicity of MPP+ [40]
Human Ovarian Cancer Cell Line (Skov-3) Fe3O4 9.2 120–240 PEG, PEI and Folic acid Carboxyl and hydroxyl Non-tixic [52]
Human blood cells Fe3O4 <20 10–1000 Oleylamine Amine Increased oxidative stress, dose-dependent DNA damage [67]
Mouse embryonic fibroblasts (NIH3T3) Fe3O4 15–20 0.032 and 0.065 Oleate Carboxyl Dose and time dependent reduced viability [51]
Mouse embryonic neural stem cells Fe2O3 100a 20–200 bare Hydroxyl Severe diminished GSH, declined ROS, increased mitochondrial potential, long-term depolarization of cell membrane, and DNA damage [58]
100a 20–200 d-mannose Hydroxyl
100–150a 20–200 poly-l-lysine Amine
  1. The studies indicate Fe3+ is more toxic than Fe2+. Amine functional group often increases cytotoxicity. The toxicity of NPs is further dose- and time-dependent
  2. APTMS aminopropyltrimethoxysilane, APTS aminopropyltriethoxysilane, PEA poly-(dimethylamine-coepichlorhydrin-co-ethylendiamine), PEG polyethylene glycol, PEI polyethylenimine, TEOS Tetraethylorthosilicate
  3. aAggregate diameter