If cerium dioxide nanoparticles are inhaled they deposit primarily within the lung and dependent on the concentration and shape they can induce inflammatory processes. At the end of the year 2018 results of a chronic long-term exposure study with CeO2 are expected.


After inhalation of particles these can be determined within the lung but also in other organs of the exposed animals but only in very small amount (compare: body barriers - Nanoparticles and the lung). The major part of the nanoparticles stays within the lung, only less than one per thousand of the applied dose could be found after 28 days within the liver, the spleen and the kidneys of the treated animals. These small amounts do not have any adverse effect within these organs. These studies demonstrated further that the size of the investigated particles doesn’t have an influence on the uptake and distribution of the particles within the organisms [1-3].

Additionally, the shape of the nanoscale cerium dioxide influences the biological effects. A study on the comparison of spherical and rod-like CeO2 nanoparticles in mice showed that only the rod-like particles with a minimum length of 1 µm could induce a sustained inflammation in the lung. Although the shorter rods (length < 1 µm) as well as the spherical particles could induce inflammatory responses, these are transient and disappeared after a short period of time [4]. The researcher of this study comment on their own study like this: ”When comparing the results of this study with those carried out with other metal oxide nanoparticles, cerium oxide has to be classified as low toxic. ....”


Animal studies on inhalation of cerium dioxide nanoparticles demonstrated the lung burden and the induction of inflammation in dependency on the concentrations and the shape of the particles. Results on possible long-term effects of CeO2 nanoparticles are expected at the end of 2018. At that time a subchronic inhalation study is finished.



Literature arrow down

  1. NanoCare (2009). Report:"Final Scientific Report", Dechema e.V., Frankfurt a.Main. ISBN:978-3-89746-108-6. (PDF-Dokument, 19 MB).
  2. Geraets, L. et. al. (2012), Toxicol Sci, 127(2): 463-473.
  3. He, X et al. (2010), Nanotechnology, 21: 285103
  4. Lin,S. et. al. (2014), ACS Nano, 8(5): 4450-4464



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