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Differences in toxicity of anionic and cationic PAMAM and PPI dendrimers in zebrafish embryos and cancer cell lines

: Bodewein, L.; Schmelter, F.; Di Fiore, S.; Hollert, H.; Fischer, R.; Fenske, M.


Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 305 (2016), pp.83-92
ISSN: 0041-008X
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IME ()

Dendrimers are an emerging class of polymeric nanoparticles with beneficial biomedical applications like early diagnostics, in vitro gene transfection or controlled drug delivery. However, the potential toxic impact of exposure on human health or the environment is often inadequately defined. Thus, polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers of generations G3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0 and polypropylenimine (PPI) dendrimers G3.0, 4.0 and 5.0 were tested in zebrafish embryos for 96 h and human cancer cell lines for 24 h, to assess and compare developmental in vivo toxicity with cytotoxicity. The zebrafish embryo toxicity of cationic PAMAM and PPI dendrimers increased over time, with EC50 values ranging from 0.16 to just below 1.7 μM at 24 and 48 hpf. The predominant effects were mortality, plus reduced heartbeat and blood circulation for PPI dendrimers. Apoptosis in the embryos increased in line with the general toxicity concentration-dependently.