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Nanoscale 2014, 6(4), 2119-2124

Towards biocompatible nano/microscale machines: self-propelled catalytic nanomotors not exhibiting acute toxicity

Recent advances in nanotechnology have led to the evolution of self-propelled, artificial nano/microjet motors. These intelligent devices are considered to be the next generation self-powered drug delivery system in the field of biomedical applications. While many studies have strived to further improve the various properties of these devices such as their efficiency, performance and power, little attention has been paid to the actual biocompatibility of nanojets in vivo. In this paper, we will present for the first time the investigation of the toxicity effects of nanojets on the viability of human lung epithelial cells (A549 cells). From the 24 h and 48 h post-exposure studies, it is clearly shown that the nanojets we used in our work has negligible influence on the cell viability across all the concentrations tested. As such, the toxicity profile of our nanojets have been shown to be neither dose-nor time-dependent. This is strongly indicative of the benign nature of our nanojets, which is of paramount significance as it is the first step towards the applications of nano/micromotors in real-world practical medical devices.

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