Acute, sub-chronic and chronic exposures to TiO2 and Ag nanoparticles differentially affects neuronal function in vitro

Authors: Gerber LS, Heusinkveld HJ, Langendoen C, Stahlmecke B, Schins RPF, Westerink RHS

NeuroToxicology, Volume 93, 2022



Researchers use Axion’s MEA platform to investigate the effects of nanoparticles on neuronal network activity in real time.

Nanoparticles (NP) such as titanium dioxide (TiO2NP) and silver (AgNP), which are widely used in pharmaceuticals, biomedical devices, textiles, paints, and a range of other personal care and consumer products, have been linked to neurotoxicity and neurodegenerative processes—but few studies have assessed the impact of these NPs on neuronal network activity. In this study, scientists investigated the real-time effects of acute, sub-chronic, and chronic exposures to NPs on rat primary cortical cultures in vitro using Axion’s noninvasive, label-free Maestro multielectrode array (MEA) platform and other methods. Overall, the results demonstrated that while chronic TiO2NP induced only modest decreases in neuronal network activity, AgNP exposure presented greater concerns for brain health, with the researchers noting that exposure to AgNP, “particularly during chronic exposure, has profound effects on neuronal (network) function and morphology.“ According to the authors, these findings suggest that using MEA to examine neurotoxicity related to chronic NP exposure is a sensitive alternative to in vivo studies.

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