Biodegradation of carbon nanohorns in macrophage cells.

Minfang Zhang, Mei Yang, Cyrill Bussy, Sumio Iijima, Kostas Kostarelos, Masako Yudasaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the rapid developments in the medical applications of carbon nanomaterials such as carbon nanohorns (CNHs), carbon nanotubes, and graphene based nanomaterials, understanding the long-term fate, health impact, excretion, and degradation of these materials has become crucial. Herein, the in vitro biodegradation of CNHs was determined using a non-cellular enzymatic oxidation method and two types of macrophage cell lines. Approximately 60% of the CNHs was degraded within 24 h in a phosphate buffer solution containing myeloperoxidase. Furthermore, approximately 30% of the CNHs was degraded by both RAW 264.7 and THP-1 macrophage cells within 9 days. Inflammation markers such as pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor α were not induced by exposure to CNHs. However, reactive oxygen species were generated by the macrophage cells after uptake of CNHs, suggesting that these species were actively involved in the degradation of the nanomaterials rather than in an inflammatory pathway induction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2834-2840
Number of pages6
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2015


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