Organically Modified Silica Nanoparticles Interaction with Macrophage Cells: Assessment of Cell Viability on the Basis of Physicochemical Properties

Dhiraj Kumar*, Isha Mutreja, Prashant C. Keshvan, Madhusudan Bhat, Amit K. Dinda, Susmita Mitra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Silica nanoparticles have drawn a lot of attention for nanomedicine application, and this is attributed to their biocompatibility and ease of surface functionalization. However, successful utilization of these inorganic systems for biomedical application depends on their physicochemical properties. This study, therefore, discusses in vitro toxicity of organically modified silica nanoparticles on the basis of size, shape, and surface properties of silica nanoparticles. Spherical- and oval-shaped nanoparticles having hydroxyl and amine groups were synthesized in Tween 80 micelles using different organosilanes. Nanoparticles of similar size and morphology were considered for comparative assessment. "As-prepared" nanoparticles were characterized in terms of size, shape, and surface properties using ZetaSizer, transmission electron microscopy, and Fourier transform infrared to establish the above parameters. In vitro analysis in terms of nanoparticle-based toxicity was performed on J-774 (macrophage) cell line using propidium iodide-4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindol and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assays. Fluorescent dye-entrapped nanoparticles were used to visualize the uptake of the nanoparticles by macrophage cells. Results from cell studies suggested low levels of toxicity for different nanoparticle formulations studied, therefore are suitable for nanocarrier application for poorly soluble molecules. On the contrary, the nanoparticles of similar size and shape, having amine groups and low net negative charge, do not exhibit any in vitro cytotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3943-3951
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • J-774 cell line
  • core-shell nanoparticles
  • fluorescent nanoparticles
  • micro-emulsion
  • microencapsulation
  • nano-toxicity
  • nanoparticle
  • organosilanes
  • physico-chemical properties
  • silica


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