Comprehensive Neurotoxicity of Lead Halide Perovskite Nanocrystals in Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

Loan Thi Ngo, Wen Tse Huang, Ming Hsien Chan, Ting Yi Su, Chien Hsiu Li, Michael Hsiao*, Ru Shi Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


To date, all-inorganic lead halide perovskite quantum dots have emerged as promising materials for photonic, optoelectronic devices, and biological applications, especially in solar cells, raising numerous concerns about their biosafety. Most of the studies related to the toxicity of perovskite quantum dots (PeQDs) have focused on the potential risks of hybrid perovskites by using zebrafish or human cells. So far, the neurotoxic effects and fundamental mechanisms of PeQDs remain unknown. Herein, a comprehensive methodology is designed to investigate the neurotoxicity of PeQDs by using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism. The results show that the accumulation of PeQDs mainly focuses on the alimentary system and head region. Acute exposure to PeQDs results in a decrease in locomotor behaviors and pharyngeal pumping, whereas chronic exposure to PeQDs causes brood decline and shortens lifespan. In addition, some abnormal issues occur in the uterus during reproduction assays, such as vulva protrusion, impaired eggs left in the vulva, and egg hatching inside the mother. Excessive reactive oxygen species formation is also observed. The neurotoxicity of PeQDs is explained by gene expression. This study provides a complete insight into the neurotoxicity of PeQD and encourages the development of novel nontoxic PeQDs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2306020
Issue number2
StatePublished - 11 Jan 2024


  • C. elegans
  • CsPbBr
  • lead halide perovskites
  • neurotoxicity
  • toxicity


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