Cytotoxicity of Poly(Alkyl Cyanoacrylate) Nanoparticles

Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Nov 18;18(11):2454. doi: 10.3390/ijms18112454.


Although nanotoxicology has become a large research field, assessment of cytotoxicity is often reduced to analysis of one cell line only. Cytotoxicity of nanoparticles is complex and should, preferentially, be evaluated in several cell lines with different methods and on multiple nanoparticle batches. Here we report the toxicity of poly(alkyl cyanoacrylate) nanoparticles in 12 different cell lines after synthesizing and analyzing 19 different nanoparticle batches and report that large variations were obtained when using different cell lines or various toxicity assays. Surprisingly, we found that nanoparticles with intermediate degradation rates were less toxic than particles that were degraded faster or more slowly in a cell-free system. The toxicity did not vary significantly with either the three different combinations of polyethylene glycol surfactants or with particle size (range 100-200 nm). No acute pro- or anti-inflammatory activity on cells in whole blood was observed.

Keywords: PACA; cytotoxicity; high-throughput screening; nanoparticles; nanotoxicology.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Cyanoacrylates / chemistry
  • Cyanoacrylates / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Nanoparticles / toxicity*
  • Particle Size
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Surface-Active Agents


  • Cyanoacrylates
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • Polyethylene Glycols