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Nano-Safety Research Group

Specialists in the assessment of nanomaterial toxicity to human health and the environment

Carbon Nanotube Toxicity In Vitro

Investigating the toxicity of carbon nanotubes in vitro

Staff: David Brown, and Vicki Stone


Funding: The Colt Foundation


Project Aims:

This project investigated the relationship between the physico-chemical properties of carbon nanotubes and their toxicity. An integral part of the study was investigation of the mechanism of carbon nanotube toxicity which included evaluation of the contribution of frustrated phagocytosis, pro-inflammatory and oxidative responses and transcription factor activation to the macrophage response.



  • Brown DM, kinloch I, Bangert U, Windle AH, Walter DM, Walker GS, Scotchford CA, Donaldson K, Stone V (2007). An in vitro study of the potential of carbon nanotubes and nanofibres to induce inflammatory mediators and frustrated phagocytosis. Carbon 45; 1743-1756
  • Brown, D. M., Donaldson, K. & Stone, V. (2010) Nuclear Translocation of Nrf2 and Expression of Antioxidant Defence Genes in THP-1 Cells Exposed to Carbon Nanotubes J Biomed Nanotechnol 6, 224-233

frustrated phagocytosis

Frustrated phagocytosis of macrophages attempting to internalise carbon nanotubes