Size-dependent cytotoxicity of copper oxide nanoparticles in lung epithelial cells†
The increasing use of copper oxide (CuO) nanoparticles (NPs) in medicine and industry demands an understanding of their potential toxicities. In this study, we compared the in vitro cytotoxicity of CuO NPs of two distinct sizes (4 and 24 nm) using the A549 human lung cell line. Despite possessing similar surface and core oxide compositions, 24 nm CuO NPs were significantly more cytotoxic than 4 nm CuO NPs. The difference in size may have affected the rate of entry of NPs into the cell, potentially influencing the amount of intracellular dissolution of Cu2+ and causing a differential impact on cytotoxicity.