The effects of multi-walled carbon nanotubes were investigated in SZ95 sebocytes, IHK keratinocytes and reconstructed human epidermises. Carbon nanotubes were subjected to dispersion protocols leading to different agglomeration states. Toxicological methods were chosen and adapted in order to ensure compatibility with nanotubes. Results show that: (i) Water-suspended nanotubes, as micrometric agglomerates, were not harmful to skin cells, except minor effects in keratinocytes, (ii) mild sonication slightly decreased nanotube agglomeration but increased cytotoxicity on keratinocytes, (iii) addition of hydroxypropylcellulose or Pluronic F108, which improved nanotube dispersion, masked the harmful effects of sonicated nanotubes. Altogether, these results indicate that carbon nanotubes induced cytotoxicity in human keratinocytes after a short exposure (24-48 h), particularly when they were sonicated before cell incubations. However, the cytotoxic effects of raw and sonicated nanotubes could be prevented in presence of dispersive agents. No cytotoxic effects were observed in SZ95 sebocytes or in stratified epidermises reconstructed in vitro.
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Vankoningsloo, S., Piret, J-P., Saout, C., Noel, F., Mejia Mendoza, J. H., Zouboulis, C. C., ... Toussaint, O. (2010). Cytotoxicity of multi-walled carbon nanotubes in three skin cellular models: Effects of sonication, dispersive agents and corneous layer of reconstructed epidermis. Nanotoxicology, 4(1), 84-97. https://doi.org/10.3109/17435390903428869