Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 530957, 11 pages
Research Article

Effect of Fe3O4 Nanoparticles on Skin Tumor Cells and Dermal Fibroblasts

1Institute of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology I, Medical Faculty, Heinrich Heine University, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
2Department of Chemistry, Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Cologne, 50939 Cologne, Germany
3Institute of Anatomy II, Medical Faculty, Heinrich Heine University, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany

Received 16 January 2015; Accepted 24 February 2015

Academic Editor: Narinder Singh

Copyright © 2015 Lirija Alili 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 (Fe3O4) nanoparticles have been used in many biomedical approaches. The toxicity of Fe3O4 nanoparticles on mammalian cells was published recently. Though, little is known about the viability of human cells after treatment with Fe3O4 nanoparticles. Herein, we examined the toxicity, production of reactive oxygen species, and invasive capacity after treatment of human dermal fibroblasts (HDF) and cells of the squamous tumor cell line (SCL-1) with Fe3O4 nanoparticles. These nanoparticles had an average size of 65 nm. Fe3O4 nanoparticles induced oxidative stress via generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and subsequent initiation of lipid peroxidation. Furthermore, the question was addressed of whether Fe3O4 nanoparticles affect myofibroblast formation, known to be involved in tumor invasion. Herein, Fe3O4 nanoparticles prevent the expression alpha-smooth muscle actin and therefore decrease the number of myofibroblastic cells. Moreover, our data show in vitro that concentrations of Fe3O4 nanoparticles, which are nontoxic for normal cells, partially reveal a ROS-triggered cytotoxic but also a pro-invasive effect on the fraction of squamous cancer cells surviving the treatment with Fe3O4 nanoparticles. The data herein show that the Fe3O4 nanoparticles appear not to be adequate for use in therapeutic approaches against cancer cells, in contrast to recently published data with cerium oxide nanoparticles.