Multifunctional bismuth oxide (Bi2O3) particles: Evidence for selective melanoma therapy

Publication Name

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A


The current study investigates the therapeutic and optical properties of bismuth oxide (Bi2O3) particles for selective melanoma therapy and prevention. The Bi2O3 particles were prepared using a standard precipitation method. The Bi2O3 particles induced apoptosis in human A375 melanoma cells but not human HaCaT keratinocytes or CCD-1090Sk fibroblast cells. This selective apoptosis appears to be associated with a combination of factors: increased particle internalization (2.29 ± 0.41, 1.16 ± 0.08 and 1.66 ± 0.22-fold of control) and enhanced production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) (3.4 ± 0.1, 1.1 ± 0.1 and 2.05 ± 0.17-fold of control) in A375 cells compared to HaCaT and CCD-1090SK cells, respectively. As a high-Z element, bismuth is also an excellent contrast agent for computer tomography, which renders Bi2O3 a theranostic material. Moreover, Bi2O3 displays high UV absorption and low photocatalytic activity compared to other semiconducting metal oxides, which opens further potential fields of application as a pigment or as an active ingredient in sunscreens. Overall, this study demonstrates the multifunctional properties of Bi2O3 particles surrounding the treatment and prevention of melanoma.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access

Funding Sponsor

Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute



Link to publisher version (DOI)