Thermal annealing of carbon nanotubes reveals a strong toxicological impact of the structural defects

Abstract : The biological response to pristine and annealed multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) was assessed on murine macrophages (RAW 264.7). First, the physicochemical features of the as-produced MWCNT and annealed at 2125 °C for 1 h were fully characterized. A decrease in structural defects, hydrophobicity and catalytic impurities was detected after annealing. Thereafter, their impact on cytotoxicity, oxidative stress, and pro-inflammatory response was investigated at concentrations ranging from 15 to 120 µg mL−1. No effect of the 2125 °C treatment was detected on the cytotoxicity. In contrast, the annealed carbon nanotubes showed a significant increase of the pro-inflammatory response. We assumed that this behavior was due to the reduction in structural defects that may modify the layer of adsorbed biomolecules. Surprisingly, the purification of metallic catalysts did not have any significant impact on the oxidative stress. We suggested that the structural improvements from the 2125 °C treatment can decrease the carbon nanotube scavenging capacity and thus allow a higher free radical release which may counterbalance the decrease of oxidative stress due to a lower content of metallic impurities.
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Journal of Nanoparticle Research, Springer Verlag, 2015, 17 (4), pp.article 194. 〈10.1007/s11051-015-2999-0〉
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Agathe Figarol, Jérémie Pourchez, Delphine Boudard, Valérie Forest, Sarah Berhanu, et al.. Thermal annealing of carbon nanotubes reveals a strong toxicological impact of the structural defects. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, Springer Verlag, 2015, 17 (4), pp.article 194. 〈10.1007/s11051-015-2999-0〉. 〈emse-01148477v2〉

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