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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 560768, 13 pages
Research Article

Bucky Tubes Induce Oxidative Stress Mediated Cell Death in Human Lung Cells

1Nanomaterial Toxicology Laboratory, CSIR, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, P. O. Box 80, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow 226001, India
2CSIR, National Physical Laboratory, Dr. K. S. Krishnan Marg, New Delhi 110012, India
3Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research, New Delhi, India

Received 23 July 2014; Accepted 20 August 2014

Academic Editor: Rishi Shanker

Copyright © 2015 Jaya Singhal 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.


Unique physicochemical properties of carbon nanomaterials (CNMs) have opened a new era for therapeutics and diagnosis (known as theranostics) of various diseases. This exponential increase in application makes them important for toxicology studies. The present study was aimed at exploring the toxic potential of one of the CNMs, that is, bucky tubes (BTs), in human lung adenocarcinoma (A549) cell line. BTs were characterised by electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), Fourier transform spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Flow cytometric study showed a concentration and time dependent increase in intracellular internalization as well as reduction in cell viability upon exposure to BTs. However, a significant increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was observed as evident by increased fluorescence intensity of 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescein (DCF). BTs induced oxidative stress in cells as evident by depletion in glutathione with concomitant increase in lipid peroxidation with increasing concentrations. A significant increase in micronucleus formation and apoptotic cell population and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) as compared to control were observed. Moreover, in the present study, BTs were found to be mild toxic and it is encouraging to conclude that BTs having outer diameter in the range of 7–12 nm and length 0.5–10 μm can be used for theranostics.