Imperial College London

Prof Milo Shaffer

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry

Professor of Materials Chemistry



+44 (0)20 7594 5825m.shaffer Website




Mr John Murrell +44 (0)20 7594 2845




M221Royal College of ScienceSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Goode, AE and Gonzalez, Carter DA and Motskin, M and Pienaar, IS and Chen, S and Hu, S and Ruenraroengsak, P and Ryan, M and Shaffer, MSP and Dexter, DT and Porter, AE},
doi = {10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.08.019},
journal = {Biomaterials},
pages = {57--70},
title = {High resolution and dynamic imaging of biopersistence and bioreactivity of extra and intracellular MWNTs exposed to microglial cells},
url = {},
volume = {70},
year = {2015}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) are increasingly being developed both as neuro-therapeutic drug delivery systems to the brain and as neural scaffolds to drive tissue regeneration across lesion sites. MWNTs with different degrees of acid oxidation may have different bioreactivities and propensities to aggregate in the extracellular environment, and both individualised and aggregated MWNTs may be expected to be found in the brain. Before practical application, it is vital to understand how both aggregates and individual MWNTs will interact with local phagocytic immune cells, the microglia, and ultimately to determine their biopersistence in the brain. The processing of extra- and intracellular MWNTs (both pristine and when acid oxidised) by microglia was characterised across multiple length scales by correlating a range of dynamic, quantitative and multi-scale techniques, including: UV-vis spectroscopy, light microscopy, focussed ion beam scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Dynamic, live cell imaging revealed the ability of microglia to break apart and internalise micron-sized extracellular agglomerates of acid oxidised MWNT, but not pristine MWNTs. The total amount of MWNTs internalised by, or strongly bound to, microglia was quantified as a function of time. Neither the significant uptake of oxidised MWNTs, nor the incomplete uptake of pristine MWNTs affected microglial viability, pro-inflammatory cytokine release or nitric oxide production. However, after 24 hrs exposure to pristine MWNTs, a significant increase in the production of reactive oxygen species was observed. Small aggregates and individualised oxidised MWNTs were present in the cytoplasm and vesicles, including within multilaminar bodies, after 72 hours. Some evidence of morphological damage to oxidised MWNT structure was observed including highly disordered graphitic structures, suggesting possible biodegradation. This work demonstrates the utility of dynamic, quant
AU - Goode,AE
AU - Gonzalez,Carter DA
AU - Motskin,M
AU - Pienaar,IS
AU - Chen,S
AU - Hu,S
AU - Ruenraroengsak,P
AU - Ryan,M
AU - Shaffer,MSP
AU - Dexter,DT
AU - Porter,AE
DO - 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.08.019
EP - 70
PY - 2015///
SN - 1878-5905
SP - 57
TI - High resolution and dynamic imaging of biopersistence and bioreactivity of extra and intracellular MWNTs exposed to microglial cells
T2 - Biomaterials
UR -
UR -
VL - 70
ER -