In-vitro evaluation of copper nanoparticles cytotoxicity and genotoxicity in normal and cancer lung cell lines Abstract Nanotoxicology is a major field study that reveals the importance and hazard effects of nanomaterials on the living cells and tissues. In vitro studies on biological cell lines allow more control and observation along the experiment time. In the present study, Copper nanoparticles (Cu NPs) were prepared by chemical reduction method. Then, characterization was done by different physical techniques such as: Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS). As the respiration of freshly pure air is a vital process, lung cell lines have been chosen as the scope of this study. Evaluation of the toxicity of Cu NPs was performed on 2 types of cells: the human diploid lung fibroblast normal cell lines (WI-38 cells) and the human epithelial lung carcinoma cell (A549 cells). In order to assess the toxicity of the prepared Cu NPs, the two cell types were exposed to 10 mg/ml serial diluted Cu NPs for 72 hrs. The half-maximal inhibitory concentration IC50 of Cu NPs for both cell types was separately determined and used to examine the cell genotoxicity (Comet assay) concurrently with some oxidative stress parameters such as nitric oxide (NO), glutathione reduced (GSH), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide dismutase (SOD). Physical characterization of Cu NPs revealed that there were spherical in shape with an average size of 19.94 ± 3.80 nm. Cu NPs suppressed the proliferation and viability of normal and carcinoma lung cells. Treatment of both cell types with their IC50’s of Cu NPs resulted in DNA damage besides the generation of reactive oxygen species xi (ROS) and consequently a generation of a state of oxidative stress. Overall, it can be concluded that the IC50's of the prepared Cu NPs were cytotoxic and genotoxic to both normal and cancerous lung cells. Keywords: Copper nanoparticles (Cu NPs), human lung normal cell lines (WI- 38 cells), human lung carcinoma cell lines (A549 cells), toxicity, oxidative stress, comet assay, DNA.
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