Gold nanoparticles cytotoxicity
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Over the last two decades gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have been used for many scientific applications and have attracted attention due to the specific chemical, electronic and optical size dependent properties that make them very promising agents in many fields such as medicine, imagine techniques and electronics. More specifically, biocompatible gold nanoparticles have a huge potential for use as the contrast augmentation agent in X-ray Computed Tomography and Photo Acoustic Tomography for early tumor diagnostic as well these nanoparticles are extensively researched for enhancing the targeted cancer treatment effectiveness such as photo-thermal and radiotherapy. In most biomedical applications biocompatible gold nanoparticles are labeled with specific tumor or other pathology targeting antibodies and used for site specific drug delivery. However, even though gold nanoparticles poses very high level of anti cancer properties, the question of their cytotoxicity ones they are released in normal tissue has to be researched. Moreover, the huge amount of industrially produced gold nanoparticles raises the question of these particles being a health hazard, since the penetration is fairly easy for the "nano" size substances. This study focuses on the effect of AuNPs on a human skin tissue, since it is fall in both categories - the side effects for biomedical applications and industrial workers and users' exposure during production and handling. Therefore, in the present project, gold nanoparticles stabilized with the biocompatible agent citric acid were generated and characterized by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). The cytotoxic effect of AuNPs release to healthy skin tissue was modeled on 3 different cell types: human keratinocytes, human dermal fibroblasts, and human adipose derived stromal (ADS) cells. The AuNPs localization inside the cell was found to be cell type dependent. Overall cytotoxicity was found to be dependent on time, concentration and nanoparticle size. Additionally, the question of cell recovery once the source of AuNPs is removed was investigated in the present work. It was found that full cell functions recovery is possible after removing the source of nanoparticles.