Cellular Internalization of Dissolved Cobalt Ions from Ingested CoFe<sub>2</sub>O<sub>4</sub> Nanoparticles: In Vivo Experimental Evidence

With a model invertebrate animal, we have assessed the fate of magnetic nanoparticles in biologically relevant media, i.e., digestive juices. The toxic potential and the internalization of such nanoparticles by nontarget cells were also examined. The aim of this study was to provide experimental evidence on the formation of Co<sup>2+</sup>, Fe<sup>2+</sup>, and Fe<sup>3+</sup> ions from CoFe<sub>2</sub>O<sub>4</sub> nanoparticles in the digestive juices of a model organism. Standard toxicological parameters were assessed. Cell membrane stability was tested with a modified method for measurement of its quality. Proton-induced X-ray emission and low energy synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence were used to study internalization and distribution of Co and Fe. Co<sup>2+</sup> ions were found to be more toxic than nanoparticles. We confirmed that Co<sup>2+</sup> ions accumulate in the hepatopancreas, but Fe<sup><i>n</i>+</sup> ions or CoFe<sub>2</sub>O<sub>4</sub> nanoparticles are not retained in vivo. A model biological system with a terrestrial isopod is suited to studies of the potential dissolution of ions and other products from metal-containing nanoparticles in biologically complex media.