In vitro experiments using zirconium dioxide show, that these particles cause adverse effects only in very high doses.


Within the project NanoCare three different modifications of zirconium dioxide were used. Furthermore a threshold concentration of at least 50 µg ZrO2 particles per cm2 cell culture area was determined by means of in vitro tests on the human lung epithelial cell line A549. At this concentration as the lowest one that triggers an effect, cells were found to become stressed. Investigations with 11 different cell lines from different derivations and up to 10 µg particles per cm2 cell culture area used, none oft the cell lines showed indications of stress or zirconium dioxide caused other cell-damaging effects. Likewise, a test on apoptosis was negative with cell cultures.

Within co-culture systems which allow to better represent the in vivo situation in the body due to simulate the interaction of the cells, particles also showed no adverse effects [1]. The treatment of macrophages with ZrO2-particles (600 nm in diameter) at concentrations up to 2.500 particles per cell induced no observable effects [2].


Literature arrow down

  1. NanoCare 2009, Final Scientific Report, ISBN 978-3-89746-108-6. (PDF-Document, 19 MB).
  2. Catelas, I et al. (1999), J Bone Joint Surg Br, 81(3): 516-521.



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