Carcinogenicity evaluation for the application of carbon nanotubes as biomaterials in rasH2 mice

Sci Rep. 2012:2:498. doi: 10.1038/srep00498. Epub 2012 Jul 9.


The application of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as biomaterials is of wide interest, and studies examining their application in medicine have had considerable significance. Biological safety is the most important factor when considering the clinical application of CNTs as biomaterials, and various toxicity evaluations are required. Among these evaluations, carcinogenicity should be examined with the highest priority; however, no report using transgenic mice to evaluate the carcinogenicity of CNTs has been published to date. Here, we performed a carcinogenicity test by implanting multi-walled CNTs (MWCNTs) into the subcutaneous tissue of rasH2 mice, using the carbon black present in black tattoo ink as a reference material for safety. The rasH2 mice did not develop neoplasms after being injected with MWCNTs; instead, MWCNTs showed lower carcinogenicity than carbon black. Such evaluations should facilitate the clinical application and development of CNTs for use in important medical fields.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / administration & dosage
  • Biocompatible Materials / toxicity*
  • Carbon / toxicity
  • Carcinogenicity Tests
  • Carcinogens / toxicity*
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Nanotubes, Carbon / toxicity*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras) / genetics
  • Skin / pathology
  • Spleen / metabolism
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Survival Analysis


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Carcinogens
  • Nanotubes, Carbon
  • Carbon
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)