Understanding biological Interactions, Cytocompatibility and cellular Responses of 2D Materials

MACRAMÉ Partners EMPA have conducted a detailed study on the cellular interaction and effects of hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) nanosheets in alveolar epithelial cells cultured on porous inserts and exposed under air−liquid interface conditions for 24 h. In their resulting publication entitled ‘Boron Nitride Nanosheets Induce Lipid Accumulation and Autophagy in Human Alveolar Lung Epithelial Cells Cultivated at Air-Liquid Interface’, the authors note that while their investigation demonstrated cellular uptake and subtoxic effects of hBN nanosheets in lung alveolar epithelial cells, it also showed that hBN nanosheets did not affect cell viability and epithelial barrier integrity in their chosen cultures.

‘Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is a promising non-carbon 2D material that has received great attention in recent years for its potential applications in electronic and optoelectronic devices, and as an outstanding thermal conductive material with higher chemical stability compared to metals,’ the paper confirms. ‘In addition, hBN nanosheets or nanoparticles have been demonstrated as an excellent and promising alternative to elemental boron (B10) in boron neutron capture therapy for cancer treatment. […] [However] [t]here have been limited and rather conflicting studies on biological interactions and cytotoxicity of hBN nanosheets.’

The authors conclude that the study recommended future investigations on the long-term impact of hBN exposure and its correlation to chronic lung diseases, as they suspected that ‘long-term and/or repeated exposure to hBN may “overload” the autophagy-mediated protective function of the lung cells and may give rise to delayed adverse effects or even lead to the development of lipid-mediated lung diseases (i.e. asthma and COPD).’ 

To read the full paper, follow this link.

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