• gum arabic;
  • magnetic particles;
  • mammalian cell lines;
  • HEK293;
  • CHO;
  • TE671


Iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) were synthesized by the chemical co-precipitation method and coated with gum arabic (GA) by physical adsorption and covalent attachment. Cultures of mammalian cell lines (HEK293, CHO and TE671) were grown in the presence of uncoated and GA-coated MNPs. Cellular growth was followed by optical microscopy in order to assess the proportion of cells with particles, alterations in cellular density and the presence of debris. The in vitro assays demonstrated that cells from different origins are affected differently by the presence of the nanoparticles. Also, the methods followed for GA coating of MNPs endow distinct surface characteristics that probably underlie the observed differences when in contact with the cells. In general, the nanoparticles to which the GA was adsorbed had a smaller ability to attach to the cells' surface and to compromise the viability of the cultures. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.