Transformation in band energetics of CuO nanoparticles as a function of solubility and its impact on cellular response

Archini Paruthi, Jared M. Brown, Emila Panda, Abhay Raj Singh Gautam, Sanjay Singh, Superb K. Misra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Nanoparticles under a reactive microenvironment have the propensity to undergo morphological and compositional changes, which can translate into band edge widening. Although cell membrane depolarization has been linked with the electronic band structure of nanomaterials in their native state, the change in band structure as a consequence of a soluble nanoparticle system is less studied. Therefore we studied the consequence of dissolution of CuO nanoparticles on the band structure and correlated it with its ability to induce intracellular oxidative stress. The temporal variation in bandgap, fermi energy level and valence band maxima were evaluated on the remnant CuO nanoparticles post dissolution. CuO nanoparticles showed a very high dissolution in simulated body fluid (51%) and cell culture media (75%). This dissolution resulted in an in situ physico-chemical transformation of CuO nanoparticles. A temporal increase in the bandgap energy as a result of media interaction was up to 107%. Temporal variation in the flat band potentials with the generation of intracellular ROS, cell viability, late and early apoptosis in addition to necrosis on RAW 264.7 cells was established due to biological redox potential overlap. The mRNA expression for TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β and IL-10 in response to the particle treatment was also evalulated for 6 h. Through this study, we establish that the toxicological potential of CuO nanoparticles is a temporal function of band energies (its overlap with the intracellular redox potential) followed by release of ionic species in the cytotoxic regime.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100324
Publication statusPublished - 04-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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