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Evaluation Of Toxicity And Neural Uptake In Vitro And In Vivo Of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles

Muhammad Khalid, Muhammad Asad, Petra Henrich-Noack, Maxim Sokolov, Werner Hintz, Lisa Grigartzik, Enqi Zhang, Alexander Dityatev, Berend van Wachem, Bernhard Sabel

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Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIO-NPs) have great potential to be used in different pharmaceutical applications, due to their unique and versatile physical and chemical properties. The aim of this study was to quantify in vitro cytotoxicity of dextran 70,000-coated SPIO-NPs labelled/unlabelled with rhodamine 123, in C6 glioma cells and primary hippocampal neural cells. In addition, we analyzed the in vitro and in vivo cellular uptake of labelled SPIO-NPs. The nanoparticles, with average size of 10–50 nm and polydispersity index of 0.37, were synthesized using Massart’s co-precipitation method. The concentration-dependent cytotoxicity was quantified by using tetrazolium dye 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT). Intracellular localization of SPIO-NPs was detected by confocal laser microscopy. In vivo confocal neuroimaging (ICON) was performed on male Wistar rats after intravitreal injection followed by ex vivo retina whole mount analysis. When used for in vitro testing concentrations in the range of diagnostic and therapeutic dosages, SPIO-NPs proved to be non-cytotoxic on C6 glioma cells for up to 24 h incubation time. The hippocampal cell culture also did not show impaired viability at low doses after 24 h incubation. Our results indicate that our dextran-coated SPIO-NPs have the potential for in vivo drug delivery applications.