Effect of polyethylene glycol modification of TiO 2 nanoparticles on cytotoxicity and gene expressions in human cell lines

Sharmy Saimon Mano, Koki Kanehira, Shuji Sonezaki, Akiyoshi Taniguchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Nanoparticles (NPs) are tiny materials used in a wide range of industrial and medical applications. Titanium dioxide (TiO 2) is a type of nanoparticle that is widely used in paints, pigments, and cosmetics; however, little is known about the impact of TiO 2 on human health and the environment. Therefore, considerable research has focused on characterizing the potential toxicity of nanoparticles such as TiO 2 and on understanding the mechanism of TiO 2 NP-induced nanotoxicity through the evaluation of biomarkers. Uncoated TiO 2 NPs tend to aggregate in aqueous media, and these aggregates decrease cell viability and induce expression of stress-related genes, such as those encoding interleukin-6 (IL-6) and heat shock protein 70B' (HSP70B'), indicating that TiO 2 NPs induce inflammatory and heat shock responses. In order to reduce their toxicity, we conjugated TiO 2 NPs with polyethylene glycol (PEG) to eliminate aggregation. Our findings indicate that modifying TiO 2 NPs with PEG reduces their cytotoxicity and reduces the induction of stress-related genes. Our results also suggest that TiO 2 NP-induced effects on cytotoxicity and gene expression vary depending upon the cell type and surface modification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3703-3737
Number of pages35
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar


  • Gene expnressio
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanotoxicology
  • Titanium dioxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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