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Statler College of Engineering and Mining Resources


Chemical and Biomedical Engineering


Given their extremely small size and light weight, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be readily inhaled by human lungs resulting in increased rates of pulmonary disorders, particularly fibrosis. Although the fibrogenic potential of CNTs is well established, there is a lack of consensus regarding the contribution of physicochemical attributes of CNTs on the underlying fibrotic outcome. We designed an experimentally validated in vitro fibroblast culture model aimed at investigating the effect of fiber length on single-walled CNT (SWCNT)-induced pulmonary fibrosis. The fibrogenic response to short and long SWCNTs was assessed via oxidative stress generation, collagen expression and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) production as potential fibrosis biomarkers. Long SWCNTs were significantly more potent than short SWCNTs in terms of reactive oxygen species (ROS) response, collagen production and TGF-β release. Furthermore, our finding on the length-dependent in vitro fibrogenic response was validated by the in vivolung fibrosis outcome, thus supporting the predictive value of the in vitro model. Our results also demonstrated the key role of ROS in SWCNT-induced collagen expression and TGF-β activation, indicating the potential mechanisms of length-dependent SWCNT-induced fibrosis. Together, our study provides new evidence for the role of fiber length in SWCNT-induced lung fibrosis and offers a rapid cell-based assay for fibrogenicity testing of nanomaterials with the ability to predict pulmonary fibrogenic response in vivo

Source Citation

Manke, A., Luanpitpong, S., Dong, C., Wang, L., He, X., Battelli, L., Derk, R., Stueckle, T., Porter, D., Sager, T., Gou, H., Dinu, C., Wu, N., Mercer, R., & Rojanasakul, Y. (2014). Effect of Fiber Length on Carbon Nanotube-Induced Fibrogenesis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 15(5), 7444–7461.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License



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