Faculté des sciences

Investigating the interaction of cellulose nanofibers derived from cotton with a sophisticated 3D human lung cell coculture

Clift, Martin J. D. ; Foster, E. Johan ; Vanhecke, Dimitri ; Studer, Daniel ; Wick, Peter ; Gehr, Peter ; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara ; Weder, Christoph

In: Biomacromolecules, 2011, vol. 12, no. 10, p. 3666–3673

Cellulose nanofibers are an attractive component of a broad range of nanomaterials. Their intriguing mechanical properties and low cost, as well as the renewable nature of cellulose make them an appealing alternative to carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which may pose a considerable health risk when inhaled. Little is known, however, concerning the potential toxicity of aerosolized cellulose nanofibers.... Plus

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    Summary
    Cellulose nanofibers are an attractive component of a broad range of nanomaterials. Their intriguing mechanical properties and low cost, as well as the renewable nature of cellulose make them an appealing alternative to carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which may pose a considerable health risk when inhaled. Little is known, however, concerning the potential toxicity of aerosolized cellulose nanofibers. Using a 3D in vitro triple cell coculture model of the human epithelial airway barrier, it was observed that cellulose nanofibers isolated from cotton (CCN) elicited a significantly (p < 0.05) lower cytotoxicity and (pro-)inflammatory response than multiwalled CNTs (MWCNTs) and crocidolite asbestos fibers (CAFs). Electron tomography analysis also revealed that the intracellular localization of CCNs is different from that of both MWCNTs and CAFs, indicating fundamental differences between each different nanofibre type in their interaction with the human lung cell coculture. Thus, the data shown in the present study highlights that not only the length and stiffness determine the potential detrimental (biological) effects of any nanofiber, but that the material used can significantly affect nanofiber–cell interactions.