Cytotoxicity, in Vivo Skin Irritation and Acute Systemic Toxicity of the Mesoporous Magnesium Carbonate Upsalite®


Upsalite® is a mesoporous magnesium carbonate synthesized without using surfactants and therefore highly attractive from environmental and production economy points of view. The material has recently been suggested as drug delivery vehicle and as topical bacteriostatic agent. In order to continue exploring these and other bio-related applications of the material, primary biocompatibility studies are needed. Herein we present the first in vivo acute systemic toxicity and skin irritation analyses as well as in vitro cytotoxicity evaluations of Upsalite®. The material was found to be non-toxic for human dermal fibroblasts cells up to a concentration of 1000 μg/ml and 48 h exposure in contrast to the mesoporous silica material SBA-15, used as reference, which significantly affected cell viability at particle concentration of 500 and 1000 μg/ml after the same exposure time. Topical application of Upsalite® resulted in negligible cutaneous reactions in a rabbit skin irritation model and no evidence of significant systemic toxicity was found when saline extracts of Upsalite® were injected in mice. Injection of sesame oil extract, however, resulted in transient weight loss, most likely due to injection of particles, and not toxic leachables. The presented results form the basis for future development of Upsalite® and similar mesoporous materials in biomedical applications and further toxicity as well as biocompatibility studies should be directed towards specific areas of use.

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Frykstrand, S. , Forsgren, J. , Zhang, P. , Strømme, M. and Ferraz, N. (2015) Cytotoxicity, in Vivo Skin Irritation and Acute Systemic Toxicity of the Mesoporous Magnesium Carbonate Upsalite®. Journal of Biomaterials and Nanobiotechnology, 6, 257-266. doi: 10.4236/jbnb.2015.64024.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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