(420ab) Real-Time Analysis of the Cellular Mechanisms Associated with Carbon Nanotubes Exposure
The unique intrinsic properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) make them potential candidates for a wide range of biomedical applications spanning bio-imaging, disease targeting, and delivery of genes and drugs. Therefore, in-depth analysis of their toxicity and fate inside biological systems is crucial prior to their application. Several reports have shown that CNTs toxicity can be attributed to their length, surface chemistry, aggregation or metal impurities to name a few. However, due to the various types of CNTs and the different surface functionalizing techniques, there are many discrepancies in literature and limited understanding of their toxicological and pharmacological profiles. In this research, we employed an electric cell impedance sensing device to provide a comprehensive analysis of the cellular behavior of human lung cells post exposure to CNTs with different physical and chemical properties. This non-invasive approach employs arrays with gold electrodes as immobilization platforms to provide real-time measurements of cellular adhesion, cell-cell interactions as well as changes in cellular morphology. Such measurements were further supplemented with microscopy and viability assays to derive structure-function relations associated with the cytotoxic and apoptotic events induced by cellular exposure to CNTs. Our real-time results provided new insights into the underlying cellular mechanisms associated with CNTs exposure and promise to extend such cellular-based studies to advance the biomedical applications of CNTs and other nanomaterials.