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Cell-electronic Sensing of Cellular Responses and Toxicity Induced by Nanoparticles and Arsenic Species Open Access


Other title
Cell-electronic sensing
Particulate Matter
Air quality monitoring
Drug delivery
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Moe, Birget K
Supervisor and department
Li, Xing-Fang (Laboratory Medicine and Pathology)
Examining committee member and department
Hugh, Judith (Laboratory Medicine and Pathology)
Acker, Jason (Laboratory Medicine and Pathology)
Leslie, Elaine (Physiology)
Le, X. Chris (Laboratory Medicine and Pathology)
Krylov, Sergey (Chemistry, York University)
Medical Sciences- Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
We demonstrate the development of a real-time cell analysis (RTCA) platform for studying nanoparticle- and arsenic-induced cytotoxicity with potential applications to risk assessment, environmental toxicity monitoring, and drug development. RTCA is an impedance-based in vitro detection system capable of simultaneously performing 96 cytotoxicity tests. To develop a RTCA method for nanoparticle-mediated cytotoxicity testing, we examined two well-characterized nanoparticles, titanium dioxide and silver nanoparticles, and used three cell lines, A549, SK-MES-1, and CHO-K1. Continuous real-time sensing provided qualitative and quantitative data, revealing concentration-, particle-, time-, and cell-dependent toxicological relationships. We further applied our RTCA method to evaluate cytotoxicity of air particulate matter (PM), including coal fly ash (CFA) and PM2.5 collected on air monitoring filters, using two human lung cell lines, A549 and SK-MES-1. The RTCA method was able to overcome the interference commonly encountered in colorimetric toxicity assays, making the RTCA approach potentially useful in air quality monitoring. Real-time cell sensing also enabled toxicity ranking of thirteen arsenic species in two human cancer cell lines, A549 and T24, and revealed unique kinetic information about cellular responses to the various arsenic species. Testing of a newly synthesized arsenical, Arsenicin A, showed that it was more toxic than the inorganic arsenic species. Analysis of cell accumulation of arsenic species suggests that a higher intracellular accumulation of Arsenicin A compared to inorganic arsenic is a major contributor to its higher toxicity. Determination of the chemical conversion of arsenic species in cell culture media over time provided insights into understanding the unique RTCA profiles of cells responding to some arsenic species. Co-treatment of a human cancer cell line, A549, with arsenic species and oxidized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) showed that the SWCNT altered the toxicity of the arsenic species to the cancer cells. SWCNT reduced the cytotoxicity of a highly toxic trivalent phenylarsenical, but enhanced the cytotoxicity of a less toxic pentavalent phenylarsenical. The changes in arsenic toxicity were dependent on the dose of SWCNT in combination with the dose of arsenic species. These results suggest a potential application of RTCA to research on drug development.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Moe, B; Gabos, S; Li, XF. Real-time cell microelectronic sensing of nanoparticle-induced cytotoxic effects. Analytica Chimica Acta 789: 83-90 (2013).Moe, B; McGuigan, CF; Dabek-Zlotorzynska, E; Gabos, S; Li, XF. Cell-electronic sensing of cellular responses to micro- and nanoparticles for environmental application. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry, accepted for publication 07/15/13.

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