The semiconductor manufacturing sector plans to introduce III/V film structures (eg, gallium arsenide (GaAs), indium arsenide (InAs) onto silicon wafers due to their high electron mobility and low power consumption. Aqueous solutions generated during chemical and mechanical planarization of silicon wafers can contain a mixture of metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs) and soluble indium, gallium, and arsenic. In this work, the cytotoxicity induced by Ga- and In-based NPs (GaAs, InAs, Ga2O3, In2O3) and soluble III-V salts on human bronchial epithelial cells (16HBE14o-) was evaluated using a cell impedance real-time cell analysis (RTCA) system. The RTCA system provided inhibition data at different concentrations for multiple time points, for example, GaAs (25 mg/L) caused 60% inhibition after 8 hours of exposure and 100% growth inhibition after 24 hours. Direct testing of As(III) and As(V) demonstrated significant cytotoxicity with 50% growth inhibition concentrations after 16-hour exposure (IC50) of 2.4 and 4.5 mg/L, respectively. Cell signaling with rapid rise and decrease in signal was unique to arsenic cytotoxicity, a precursor of strong cytotoxicity over the longer term. In contrast with arsenic, soluble gallium(III) and indium(III) were less toxic. Whereas the oxide NPs caused low cytotoxicity, the arsenide compounds were highly inhibitory (IC50 of GaAs and InAs = 6.2 and 68 mg/L, respectively). Dissolution experiments over 7 days revealed that arsenic was fully leached from GaAs NPs, whereas only 10% of the arsenic was leached out of InAs NPs. These results indicate that the cytotoxicity of GaAs and InAs NPs is largely due to the dissolution of toxic arsenic species.
- human bronchial epithelial cells
- real-time cell analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas