In vivo genotoxicity assessment of titanium, zirconium and aluminium nanoparticles, and their microparticulated forms, in Drosophila

Eşref Demir, Fatma Turna, Gerard Vales, Bülent Kaya, Amadeu Creus, Ricard Marcos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


As in vivo system, we propose Drosophila melanogaster as a useful model for study the genotoxic risks associated with nanoparticle exposure. In this study we have carried out a genotoxic evaluation of titanium dioxide (TiO2), zirconium oxide (ZrO2) and aluminium oxide (Al2O3) nanoparticles and their microparticulated forms in D. melanogaster by using the wing somatic mutation and recombination assay. This assay is based on the principle that loss of heterozygosis and the corresponding expression of the suitable recessive markers, multiple wing hairs and flare-3, can lead to the formation of mutant clones in treated larvae, which are expressed as mutant spots on the wings of adult flies. Third instar larvae were feed with TiO2, ZrO2 and Al2O3 nanoparticles, and their microparticulated forms, at concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 10mM. Although a certain level of aggregation/agglomeration was observed in solution, it must be noted than the constant digging activity of larvae ensures that treated medium pass constantly through the digestive tract ensuring exposure. The results showed that no significant increases in the frequency of all spots (e.g. small single, large single, twin, total mwh and total spots) were observed, indicating that these nanoparticles were not able to induce genotoxic activity in the wing spot assay of D. melanogaster. Negative data were also obtained with the microparticulated forms. This indicates that the nanoparticulated form of the selected nanomaterials does not modify the potential genotoxicity of their microparticulated versions. These in vivo results contribute to increase the genotoxicity database on the TiO2, ZrO2 and Al2O3 nanoparticles. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2304-2310
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013


  • Aluminium oxide nanoparticles
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Genotoxicity
  • Titanium dioxide nanoparticles
  • Wing spot assay
  • Zirconium oxide nanoparticles


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