Open Access Open Badges Letter to the Editor

Commenting on the effects of surface treated- and non-surface treated TiO2 in the Caco-2 cell model

James J Faust1, Wen Zhang2, Brian A Koeneman1, Yongsheng Chen3 and David G Capco1*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Life Sciences, Cellular and Molecular Biosciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 85287-4501, USA

2 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ, 07102, USA

3 School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 30332, USA

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Particle and Fibre Toxicology 2012, 9:42  doi:10.1186/1743-8977-9-42

Published: 12 November 2012


In a recent work published in Particle and Fibre Toxicology by Fisichella and coworkers investigating surface-modified TiO2 nanoparticle exposure in a model human intestinal epithelium (Caco-2), albeit degraded to mimic conditions in the gut and exposure to natural sunlight, purportedly resulted in no toxic effects. The authors (Fisichella et al.) claim to have confirmed the results of a 2010 report by Koeneman et al. However, the study by Koeneman and colleagues revealed significant effects of unmodified TiO2 nanoparticles. These contradicting data warrant further investigation into the possible effects of aluminum hydroxide, as these nanoparticles appear to have resulted in an abnormal apical surface in Caco-2 cells.

This is a comment on webcite.

Nanoparticles; Titanium dioxide; Microvilli; Brush-border; Caco-2; Transmission electron microscopy; Scanning electron microscopy