As part of the BMBF funded project INOS, titanium nitride (TiN) nanoparticles were examined in the human cell lines A549 (lung), HaCaT (skin), and CaCo-2 (intestine). These in vitro tests showed a cytotoxic effect of the TiN particles, which turned out to vary depending on the cell line with applied concentrations up to 50 µg/ml over 3 hours and 3 days.


The strongest toxic effect was observed with human skin cells (HaCaT). The LOEL was at 10 µg/ml [1]. In addition, a study into the effect of TiN nanoparticles on brain cells showed that in one cell type the treatment resulted in an increase of cell death ( apoptosis, necrosis ) [1].

However, very thin layers (10-100 nm) of TiN, as used to coat joint implants, led to an improved adhesion of human fat cells to these layers. This study concludes that the biocompatibility of TiN coatings is good [2]. This result is supported by other studies in which cells cultivated in contact with TiN coated materials showed no effect [3,4]. It is generally assumed that no TiN components detach from these coatings.


Literatur arrow down

  1. INOS Scientific Reports (see Publications of the Project INOS)
  2. Hyde, GK et al. (2009), Biomed Mater, 4(2): 025001.
  3. Paschoal, AL et al. (2003), Artif Organs, 27(5): 461-464.
  4. Raay, JJaM et al. (1995), J Mater Sci: Mater Med, 6(2): 80-84.


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