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Pulmonary toxicity of Fe2O3, ZnFe2O4, NiFe2O4 and NiZnFe4O8 nanomaterials: Inflammation and DNA strand breaks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Article number103303
Number of pages11
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Exposure to metal oxide nanomaterials potentially occurs at the workplace. We investigated the toxicity of two Fe-oxides: Fe2O3 nanoparticles and nanorods; and three MFe2O4 spinels: NiZnFe4O8, ZnFe2O4, and NiFe2O4 nanoparticles. Mice were dosed 14, 43 or 128 μg by intratracheal instillation. Recovery periods were 1, 3, or 28 days. Inflammation – neutrophil influx into bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid – occurred for Fe2O3 rods (1 day), ZnFe2O4 (1, 3 days), NiFe2O4 (1, 3, 28 days), Fe2O3 (28 days) and NiZnFe4O8 (28 days). Conversion of mass-dose into specific surface-area-dose showed that inflammation correlated with deposited surface area and consequently, all these nanomaterials belong to the so-called low-solubility, low-toxicity class. Increased levels of DNA strand breaks were observed for both Fe2O3 particles and rods, in BAL cells three days post-exposure. To our knowledge, this is, besides magnetite (Fe3O4), the first study of the pulmonary toxicity of MFe2O4 spinel nanomaterials.


  • Iron, Metal oxides, Nanomaterial, Nickel, Pulmonary, Zinc

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Field of science, Statistics Finland

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