Exploring graphene-based materials’ genotoxicity: inputs of a screening method
Graphene-based materials (GBMs) are promising nanomaterials, and several innovations depend on their use. However, the assessment of their potential hazard must be carefully explored before entering any market. GBMs are indeed well-known to induce various biological impacts, including oxidative stress, which can potentially lead to DNA damage. Genotoxicity is a major endpoint for hazard assessment and has been explored for GBMs, but the available literature shows conflicting results. In this study, we assessed the genotoxicity of 13 various GBMs, one carbon black and one amorphous silica through a DNA damage response assay (using a human respiratory cell model, BEAS-2B). Concurrently, oxidative stress was assessed through a ROS production quantification (DCFH-DA assay using a murine macrophage model, RAW 264.7). We also performed a full physicochemical characterization of our samples to explore potential structure-activity relationships involving genotoxicity. We observed that surface oxidation appears linked to genotoxicity response and were able to distinguish several groups within our studied GBMs showing different genotoxicity results. Our findings highlight the necessity to individually consider each nanoform of GBMs since the tested samples showed various results and modes of action. We propose this study as a genotoxicity assessment using a high-throughput screening method and suggest few hypotheses concerning the genotoxicity mode of action of GBMs.