Cytotoxicity Evaluation of Si-Diatom Frustules in a Mouse Model

Pamela Walsh, Susan Clarke, Matt Julius, Philip Messersmith

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Silica additives in bone substitute materials are topical, clinically interesting and have significant support in the Orthopaedic field. Biosilica, e.g isolated from diatoms, has many advantages over its synthetic counterparts, e.g. it is amorphous, thus will be absorbed by the body, however, issues such as purity, presence of endotoxins and cytotoxicity need to be addressed before it can be further exploited. Biosilica isolated from Cyclotella Meneghiniana was then tested in a mouse model, to test the immunological response, organ toxicity (kidney, spleen, liver) and route of metabolism/excretion of silica. Five-week-old Balb-c mice were injected subcutaneously with a single high dose (50mg/ml) of Si-frustules, Si-frustules + organic linker and vehicle only control. Animals were sacrificed at 1d and 28d. The animal studies were conducted under an ethically approved protocol at Queen’s University, Belfast. The animals showed no adverse stress during the experiment and remained healthy until sacrifice. Blood results using ICP-OES analysis suggest the frustules were metabolized between comparator groups at different rates, and clearly showed elevated levels of silicon in groups injected with frustules relative to control. The histology of organs showed no variation in morphology of mice injected frustules relative compared to the control group.
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowships from the EU and Beaufort Marine Biodiscovery Award as part of the Marine Biotechnology Ireland Programme for providing financial support to this project.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 07 Jul 2015
EventMolecular Life Diatom Conference - University of Washington, Seattle, United States
Duration: 07 Jul 201510 Jul 2015


ConferenceMolecular Life Diatom Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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