Influence of carbon nanotube length on toxicity to zebrafish embryos

Jinping CHENG, Shuk Han CHENG

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78 Citations (Scopus)


There is currently a large difference of opinion in nanotoxicology studies of nanomaterials. There is concern about why some studies have indicated that there is strong toxicity, while others have not. In this study, the length of carbon nanotubes greatly affected their toxicity in zebrafish embryos. Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were sonicated in a nitric acid solution for 24 hours and 48 hours. The modified MWCNTs were tested in early developing zebrafish embryo. MWCNTs prepared with the longer sonication time resulted in severe developmental toxicity; however, the shorter sonication time did not induce any obvious toxicity in the tested developing zebrafish embryos. The cellular and molecular changes of the affected zebrafish embryos were studied and the observed phenotypes scored. This study suggests that length plays an important role in the in vivo toxicity of functionalized CNTs. This study will help in furthering the understanding on current differences in toxicity studies of nanomaterials. Copyright © 2012 Cheng and Cheng, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3731-3739
JournalInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
Early online date27 Mar 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


Cheng, J., & Cheng, S. H. (2012). Influence of carbon nanotube length on toxicity to zebrafish embryos. International Journal of Nanomedicine, 7, 3731-3739. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S30459


  • Length
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Sonication
  • Developmental toxicity
  • Zebrafish


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