Nanoscale Carbon Black (CB) particles can be taken up into cells.


Individual particles of carbon black or agglomerates of carbon black can be taken up in cells through different active or passive uptake processes. The nanoparticles mostly occur in vesicles or freely in the cytoplasm.

The different uptake processes are described comprehensively in the literature [1]. Considering the different cellular effects of the particles, these uptake processes are assumed to play a role beside the particle type and size.

Carbon black tends to agglomerate considerably. The agglomerates are taken up by the cells and can be detected in vesicles by means of electron microscopy. The vesicle membrane protects the remaining cell components from the particles, i.e. the latter are found in the cell in an encapsulated state [2].

Low doses of carbon black stimulate the phagocytosis activity of the macrophages whereas very high doses considerably impede the phagocytosis capability of the macrophages [3].


Literature arrow down

  1. Brandenberger, C et al. (2010), Small, 6(15): 1669-1678.
  2. L'Azou, B et al. (2008), Part Fibre Toxicol, 5 22.
  3. Renwick, LC et al. (2004), Occup Environ Med, 61(5): 442-447.


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