Abstract Effects on the liver C3A cell line treated with a panel of engineered nanomaterials (NMs) consisting of two zinc oxide particles (ZnO; coated 100 nm and uncoated 130 nm), two multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), one silver (Ag <20 nm), one 7 nm anatase, two rutile TiO(2) nanoparticles (10 and 94 nm) and two derivatives with positive and negative covalent functionalisation of the 10 nm rutile were evaluated. The silver particles elicited the greatest level of cytotoxicity (24 h LC50 - 2 µg/cm(2)). The silver was followed by the uncoated ZnO (24 h LC50 - 7.5 µg/cm(2)) and coated ZnO (24 h LC50 - 15 µg/cm(2)) particles with respect to cytotoxicity. The ZnO NMs were found to be about 50-60% soluble which could account for their toxicity. By contrast, the Ag was <1% soluble. The LC50 was not attained in the presence of any of the other engineered NMs (up to 80 µg/cm2). All NMs significantly increased IL-8 production. Meanwhile, no significant change in TNF-a, IL-6 or CRP was detected. Urea and albumin production were measured as indicators of hepatic function. These markers were only altered by the coated and uncoated ZnO, which significantly decreased albumin production.