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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 134260, 13 pages
Research Article

Toxicity Evaluation following Intratracheal Instillation of Iron Oxide in a Silica Matrix in Rats

1Emergency Hospital Floreasca, Bucharest 5, 8 Calea Floreasca, Sector 1, 014461 Bucharest, Romania
2National Institute of Materials Physics, 105 Bis Atomistilor, 077125 Magurele, Romania
3Faculty of Physics, University of Bucharest, 405 Atomistilor, 077125 Magurele, Romania
4ISTO, UMR 7327 CNRS, Université d’Orléans, 1A rue de la Férollerie, 45071 Orléans Cedex 2, France

Received 27 February 2014; Accepted 22 April 2014; Published 14 May 2014

Academic Editor: Amitava Mukherjee

Copyright © 2014 Alina Mihaela Prodan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Iron oxide-silica nanoparticles (IOSi-NPs) were prepared from a mixture of ferrous chloride tetrahydrate and ferric chloride hexahydrate dropped into a silica xerogel composite. The structure and morphology of the synthesized maghemite nanoparticles into the silica xerogel were analysed by X-ray diffraction measurements, scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer, and transmission electron microscopy. The results of the EDAX analysis indicated that the embedded particles were iron oxide nanoparticles. The particle size of IOSi-NPs calculated from the XRD analysis was estimated at around 12.5 nm. The average size deduced from the particle size distribution is 13.7 ± 0.6 nm, which is in good agreement with XRD analysis. The biocompatibility of IOSi-NPs was assessed by cell viability and cytoskeleton analysis. Histopathology analysis was performed after 24 hours and 7 days, respectively, from the intratracheal instillation of a solution containing 0.5, 2.5, or 5 mg/kg IOSi-NPs. The pathological micrographs of lungs derived from rats collected after the intratracheal instillation with a solution containing 0.5 mg/kg and 2.5 mg/kg IOSi-NPs show that the lung has preserved the architecture of the control specimen with no significant differences. However, even at concentrations of 5 mg/kg, the effect of IOSi-NPS on the lungs was markedly reduced at 7 days posttreatment.