Journal Article

Zeta Potential and Solubility to Toxic Ions as Mechanisms of Lung Inflammation Caused by Metal/Metal Oxide Nanoparticles

Wan-Seob Cho, Rodger Duffin, Frank Thielbeer, Mark Bradley, Ian L. Megson, William MacNee, Craig A. Poland, C. Lang Tran and Ken Donaldson

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 126, issue 2, pages 469-477
Published in print April 2012 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online January 2012 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Zeta Potential and Solubility to Toxic Ions as Mechanisms of Lung Inflammation Caused by Metal/Metal Oxide Nanoparticles

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Medical Toxicology
  • Toxicology (Non-medical)


Show Summary Details


The toxicology of nanoparticles (NPs) is an area of intense investigation that would be greatly aided by improved understanding of the relationship between NP structure and inflammogenicity. To evaluate how their physicochemical parameters influence toxicity, we assembled a panel of 15 metal/metal oxide NPs and attempted to relate various physicochemical parameters, including zeta potential (ζP) and solubility, to lung inflammogenicity. The acute pulmonary inflammogenicity of the 15 NPs showed a significant correlation with one of two structural parameters—ζP under acid conditions for low-solubility NPs and solubility to toxic species for high-solubility NPs. ζP is the electrical potential created between the surface of a particle, with its associated ions, and the medium it exists in and provides information concerning the particle surface charge. We suggest that inside the phagolysosome under acid conditions, a high positive ζP may allow NPs to damage the integrity of the phagolysosomal membrane leading to inflammation. In the case of high-solubility NPs, inflammogenicity depends on the ions that are produced during dissolution of NP inside the acidic phagolysosomes; if the ions are toxic, then phagolysosomes will be destabilized and cause inflammation. These two parameters may have utility in preliminary assessment of the potential lung inflammation hazard of the large number of NPs that require testing.

Keywords: metal oxide nanoparticles; zeta potential; solubility; hemolysis; lung inflammation; rat; QSAR

Journal Article.  5523 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.