Authors: S. Qi, C. Yi, W. Chen, C-C Fong, S-T Lee and M. Yang
Affilation: City University of Hong Kong, China
Pages: 426 - 429
Keywords: silicon nanowires, HepG2, cytotoxicity, adhesion and spreading
The unique capabilities of nanomaterials make them good candidates for catalysts, biosensors, and even drug carriers. However, interactions of nanomaterials with biological systems and the environment may lead to potential toxicity. While there have been reports on the cytotoxicity of carbon nanotubes, quantum dots, gold nanoparticles, and the biocompatibilities of carbon nanotubes, no study has yet appeared on the biological effects of silicon nanowires, which are becoming increasingly important as a nanomaterial. Silicon nanowires (SiNWs), as a one-dimensional nanomaterial, typically are composed of a single crystalline silicon core and an amorphous SiOx sheath. Their outstanding properties such as quantum size effects, diameter-dependent thermal conductivity and large piezoresistance coefficient have attracted a lot of research interests, including applications as biological materials and devices. However, before SiNWs can be incorporated into new and existing biomedical devices, their cytotoxicity and their potential adverse effects on biological systems should be thoroughly investigated. Herein, we report the first study on the cytotoxicity of SiNWs to HepG2 cells and its effect on cell adhesion and spreading.