Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Systematic in vitro toxicological screening of gold nanoparticles designed for nanomedicine applications.

Authors: Naha, Pratap C; Chhour, Peter; Cormode, David P

Published In Toxicol In Vitro, (2015 Oct)

Abstract: Gold nanoparticles (AuNP) are increasingly being applied in the biomedical field as therapeutics, contrast agents, and in diagnostic systems, motivating investigations of their toxicity that might arise from accidental exposure. While other work has investigated the toxicological response to gold nanoparticles for industrial purposes, here we have surveyed formulations that have been developed for biomedical use, are in clinical trials or have been FDA-approved. The AuNP library tested contains a range of shapes, including spheres, rods and shells, that possess a range of coatings, such as silica, citrate, lipoprotein, polymaleic acid, polyethylene glycol, DNA and others. Good cytocompatibility for all formulations was observed after 1 h of incubation. However after 24 h exposure, a nanorod and a spherical DNA coated formulation resulted in toxicity. The coating material was the only factor that influenced toxicity. AuNP exposure seemed to have no effect on cell cytoskeleton deformation and cell spreading. Cell uptake, as measured by computed tomography and ICP-OES, as well as TEM images of cells, confirmed strong AuNP uptake for certain formulations, but there was no correlation with toxicity. No glove translocation occurred, therefore, nitrile gloves are an adequate safety precaution for working with the AuNP studied. In conclusion, the majority of AuNP formulations tested have very low adverse effects.

PubMed ID: 26031843 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Biological Transport; Cell Line; Cell Survival/drug effects; Cytoskeleton/drug effects; Gold/toxicity*; Humans; Metal Nanoparticles/toxicity*; Mice; Nanomedicine; Toxicity Tests

to Top