On-Chip Evaluation of Shear Stress Effect on Cytotoxicity of Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles

In this work, nanotoxicity in the bloodstream was modeled, and the cytotoxicity of sub-50 nm mesoporous silica nanoparticles to human endothelial cells was investigated under microfluidic flow conditions. Compared to traditional in vitro cytotoxicity assays performed under static conditions, unmodified mesoporous silica nanoparticles show higher and shear stress-dependent toxicity to endothelial cells under flow conditions. Interestingly, even under flow conditions, highly organo-modified mesoporous silica nanoparticles show no significant toxicity to endothelial cells. This paper clearly demonstrates that shear stress is an important factor to be considered in in vitro nanotoxicology assessments and provides a simple device for pursuing this consideration.