Titanium carbide (TiC) is used for ceramic metal composites in several industries and is regarded as a nanomaterial for catalyst and battery applications. However, there are very few studies in regard to the toxicological potential of TiC nanoparticles (NPs).


To study the toxicodynamics and toxicokinetics of TiC NPs in Sprague Dawley rats in acute (24 h) and subacute (28 days) oral administrations. The acute doses were 0.5, 5, 50, 300 and 1000 mg kg−1; the subacute doses were 0.5 and 50 mg kg−1.


Organ histopathological examination (esophagus, stomach, intestines, spleen, liver, and kidneys) indicates the absence of damage at all applied doses, in both assessments. In the acute administration, alkaline phosphatases increased (5, 300 and 1000 mg kg−1), ASAT increased (1000 mg kg−1) and bile salts decreased (0.5 mg kg−1). No alterations in urine parameters (sodium, potassium, osmolarity) were found. Acute administration of TiC caused mineral changes in organs (liver, spleen, kidneys). TiC was mostly cleared by feces excretion 24 h after administration, in subacute administration causing variations in mineral absorption (Mg, Al, P, S, Ca, Zn). TiC could pass the intestinal barrier as TiC traces were detected in urine.


No sign of toxicity was found after oral administration. TiC was excreted mostly in feces producing mineral absorption alterations. Low traces were retrieved in urine, indicating that TiC can cross the intestinal barrier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-187
Number of pages16
JournalToxicology Reports
Early online date12 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2014


  • Biodistribution
  • Histopathology
  • PIXE
  • Plasma
  • Titanium carbide nanoparticle
  • Toxicity


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