Bioavailability of Nickel in Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes


  • Financial support was provided by the NIEHS Superfund Basic Research Program P42 ES013660, EPA STAR Grant RD-83171901-0, and NSF Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Team (NIRT) grant DMI-0506661. The technical contributions of Joseph Orchardo, Anthony McCormick, Lin Guo, Bonnie Lau, Prof. Shouheng Sun and Indrek Külaots at Brown University are gratefully acknowledged. Although this research was funded in part by the EPA and NIEHS, it does not necessarily reflect the views of either agency.


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The biomolecular mechanism of nickel carcinogenicity is driven by intracellular Ni cation. The role of nickel catalyst in single-wall carbon nanotube toxicity will therefore depend on its bioavailability, which is highly uncertain due to encapsulation by carbon shells. This article measures the material-specific Ni release into extra- and intracellular physiological fluid phases and suggests practical techniques for managing the metals contribution to SWNT toxicity.