Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering to Evaluate Nanomaterial Cytotoxicity on Living Cells

Gamze Kuku, Melike Saricam, Farida Akhatova, Anna Danilushkina, Rawil Fakhrullin, Mustafa Culha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The increasing number of reports about false positive or negative results from conventional cytotoxicity assays of nanomaterials (NMs) suggests that more reliable NM toxicity assessment methods should be developed. Here, we report a novel approach for nanotoxicity evaluation based on surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). Three model NMs were tested on two model cell lines and the results were validated by WST-1 cytotoxicity assay and annexin V-FITC/propidium iodide (PI) staining as apoptosis-necrosis assay. The localization of nanoparticles (NPs) in the cells and the cellular conditions upon NP incubation were visualized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and enhanced dark-field (EDF) microscopy. SERS revealed a broader view on the consequences of cell-NM interactions compared to the conventional cytotoxicity assays where only one aspect of toxicity can be measured by one assay type. The results suggest that SERS can significantly contribute to the cytotoxicity evaluation bypassing NM or assay component-related complications with less effort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9813-9820
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 4 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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