Cellular distribution and degradation of cobalt ferrite nanoparticles in Balb/3T3 mouse fibroblasts

Patrick Marmorato, Giacomo Ceccone, Alessandra Gianoncelli, Lorella Pascolo, Jessica Ponti, François Rossi, Murielle Salomé, Burkhard Kaulich, Maya Kiskinova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of the concentration of cobalt ferrite (CoFe 2O 4) nanoparticles (NPs) on their intracellular location and distribution has been explored by synchrotron radiation X-ray and fluorescence microscopy (SR-XRF) monitoring the evolution of NPs elemental composition as well. In cells exposed to low concentrations of CoFe 2O 4 NPs, the NPs preferentially segregate in the perinuclear region preserving their initial chemical content. At concentrations exceeding 500μM the XRF spectra indicate the presence of Co and Fe also in the nuclear region, accompanied by sensible changes in the cellular morphology. The increase of the Co/Fe ratio measured in the nuclear compartment indicates that above certain concentrations the CoFe 2O 4 NPs intracellular distribution could be accompanied by biodegradation resulting in Co accumulation in the nucleus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-136
Number of pages9
JournalToxicology Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 30 2011


  • Fibroblasts
  • Magnetic nanoparticles
  • X-ray fluorescence
  • X-ray microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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