Lack of genotoxic potential of ZnO nanoparticles in in vitro and in vivo tests

Jee Young Kwon, Seung Young Lee, Preeyaporn Koedrith, Jong Yun Lee, Kyoung Min Kim, Jae Min Oh, Sung Ik Yang, Meyoung Kon Kim, Jong Kwon Lee, Jayoung Jeong, Eun Ho Maeng, Beam Jun Lee, Young Rok Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The industrial application of nanotechnology, particularly using zinc oxide (ZnO), has grown rapidly, including products such as cosmetics, food, rubber, paints, and plastics. However, despite increasing population exposure to ZnO, its potential genotoxicity remains controversial. The biological effects of nanoparticles depend on their physicochemical properties. Preparations with well-defined physico-chemical properties and standardized test methods are required for assessing the genotoxicity of nanoparticles. In this study, we have evaluated the genotoxicity of four kinds of ZnO nanoparticles: 20. nm and 70. nm size, positively or negatively charged. Four different genotoxicity tests (bacterial mutagenicity assay, in vitro chromosomal aberration test, in vivo comet assay, and in vivo micronucleus test, were conducted, following Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) test guidelines with good laboratory practice (GLP) procedures. No statistically significant differences from the solvent controls were observed. These results suggest that surface-modified ZnO nanoparticles do not induce genotoxicity in in vitro or in vivo test systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Genotoxicity test
  • Good laboratory practice
  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development test guideline
  • Zinc oxide nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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