Short-term oral administration of non-porous and mesoporous silica did not induce local or systemic toxicity in mice.Nanotoxicology. 2020 Oct 28 [Online ahead of print]N
In this study, two sets of methyl-coated non-porous and mesoporous amorphous silica materials of two target sizes (100 and 300 nm; 10-844 m2/g) were used to investigate the potential role of specific surface area (SSA) and porosity on the oral toxicity in mice. Female Swiss mice were administered by oral gavage for 5 consecutive days. Two silica dose levels (100 and 1000 mg/kg b.w.) were tested for all four materials. All dispersions were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA). Batch dispersions of porous silica were rather unstable due to agglomeration. Animals were sacrificed one day after the last administration or after a three-week recovery period. No relevant toxicological effects were induced by any of the silica materials tested, as evaluated by body weight, gross pathology, relative organ weights (liver, spleen, kidneys), hematology, blood biochemistry, genotoxicity (Comet assay in jejunum cells and micronucleus test in peripheral blood erythrocytes), liver and small intestine histopathology, and intestinal inflammation. The presence of silica particles in the intestine was evaluated by a hyperspectral imaging microscopy system (CytoViva) using histological samples of jejunum tissue. Silica spectral signatures were found in jejunum samples with all the treatments, but only statistically significant in one of the treatment groups.