Rhamnose-coated superparamagnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles: An evaluation of their in vitro cytotoxicity, genotoxicity and carcinogenicity

Alessandro Paolini, Constança Porredon Guarch, David Ramos-López, Joaquín de Lapuente, Alessandro Lascialfari, Yannick Guari, Joulia Larionova, Jerome Long, Rosanna Nano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tumor recurrence after the incomplete removal of a tumor mass inside brain tissue is the main reason that scientists are working to identify new strategies in brain oncologic therapy. In particular, in the treatment of the most malignant astrocytic tumor glioblastoma, the use of magnetic nanoparticles seems to be one of the most promising keys in overcoming this problem, namely by means of magnetic fluid hyperthermia (MFH) treatment. However, the major unknown issue related to the use of nanoparticles is their toxicological behavior when they are in contact with biological tissues. In the present study, we investigated the interaction of glioblastoma and other tumor cell lines with superparamagnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles covalently coated with a rhamnose derivative, using proper cytotoxic assays. In the present study, we focused our attention on different strategies of toxicity evaluation comparing different cytotoxicological approaches in order to identify the biological damages induced by the nanoparticles. The data show an intensive internalization process of rhamnose-coated iron oxide nanoparticles by the cells, suggesting that rhamnose moiety is a promising biocompatible coating in favoring cells' uptake. With regards to cytotoxicity, a 35% cell death at a maximum concentration, mainly as a result of mitochondrial damages, was found. This cytotoxic behavior, along with the high uptake ability, could facilitate the use of these rhamnose-coated iron-oxide nanoparticles for future MFH therapeutic treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-520
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Toxicology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Carcinogenicity
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Genotoxicity
  • Hyperthermia treatment
  • Iron content
  • Iron-oxide nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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