Stress having a negative effect on the vitality of the cells only occurs after administration of very high doses of barium sulphate (BaSO4).


In vitro experiments performed on human lung cells within the project NanoCare have shown that these cells get stressed and lose their vitality only after administration of very high doses of 50 µg particles per cm2 cell lawn. This dose is not only far above the dose of natural exposure but also above the one occurring during correct use of barium sulfate. Tests on ten different cell lines of different proveniences with up to 10 µg particles per cm2 cell lawn revealed that only embryonic stromal cells of mice were suffering from reduced cell vitality and stress. To any of the other cell lines, BaSO4 did not cause effects damaging the cells [1].

In addition to simple culture systems with only one cell line, also complex so-called co-culture systems were studied within NanoCare. Using such systems, the in vivo situation in the body can be displayed better due to simulation of the interaction of the cells. In these systems, barium sulfate particles did not trigger any biological effects and the cells were found to remain vital.

Based on the so-called vector model representing some of the elementary cell functions [2], partners of NanoCare have proved that BaSO4 causes the least effects of all materials tested. A concentration of more than 120 µg particles per 106 macrophages (total overload for the cells) was found to lead to damage of the cells. Although that dose is ultra-high, reactive oxygen species (ROS) were not detected in the cells.



  1. NanoCare 2009, Final Scientific Report, ISBN 978-3-89746-108-6. (PDF-Document, 19 MB)
  2. Bruch, J et al. (2004), Int J Hyg Environ Health, 207(3): 203-216.


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