Mechanisms of genotoxicity. A review of in vitro and in vivo studies with engineered nanoparticles

Zuzana Magdolenova, Andrew Collins, Ashutosh Kumar, Alok Dhawan, Vicki Stone, Maria Dusinska*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    496 Citations (Scopus)


    Engineered nanoparticles (NPs) are widely used in different technologies but their unique properties might also cause adverse health effects. In reviewing recent in vitro and in vivo genotoxicity studies we discuss potential mechanisms of genotoxicity induced by NPs. Various factors that may influence genotoxic response, including physico-chemical properties and experimental conditions, are highlighted. From 4346 articles on NP toxicity, 112 describe genotoxicity studies (94 in vitro, 22 in vivo). The most used assays are the comet assay (58 in vitro, 9 in vivo), the micronucleus assay (31 in vitro, 14 in vivo), the chromosome aberrations test (10 in vitro, 1 in vivo) and the bacterial reverse mutation assay (13 studies). We describe advantages and potential problems with different methods and suggest the need for appropriate methodologies to be used for investigation of genotoxic effects of NPs, in vitro and in vivo.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)233-278
    Number of pages46
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014


    • DNA damage
    • DNA oxidation
    • Mechanisms of genotoxicity
    • Nanoparticle properties
    • Nanoparticle toxicity
    • Nanotoxicology
    • Primary genotoxicity
    • Secondary genotoxicity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Toxicology


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