In Vitro Toxicological Evaluation of Airborne Copper-based Nanoparticles
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A knowledge gap exists concerning the role of metal and metal oxide composition in explaining adverse pulmonary and cardiovascular health effect associations found with inhaled nanoparticles (NPs). This research investigated cardiopulmonary cellular responses resulting from exposure to airborne copper (Cu) NPs. A spark discharge generator and an in vitro model that mimics human lung conditions were employed to generate and deliver airborne NPs to human alveolar type-II cells (A549 cells). A significant decrease in cell viability was observed in alveolar epithelial cells exposed to Cu NPs, however no significant difference was observed in cardiovascular cells cultured in pulmonary exposure medium obtained after NP exposure to lung cells. Levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species were increased in alveolar epithelial cells exposed to NPs (as compared to NP-free air) for 4 hours exposure. This research aids in the understanding of potential toxic effects of metal-based NPs on human lung cells, and their potential to lead to adverse cardiovascular responses.