Cytotoxic effects of electronic cigarette vapor extract on cultured myocardial cells


A new study is currently underway, evaluating the cytotoxic potential of electronic cigarette vapor on cultured heart cells. This study was designed based on knowledge that cigarette smoke has cytotoxic effects on myocardial cells through a variety of mechanisms, including DNA damage and mitochondrial dysfunction. The purpose of this study is to compare e-cigarette vapor with cigarette smoke.

For this study, we used an eGO battery with a 510T atomiser. In addition, we tested vaping at higher voltage, by using a Lavatube device set at 4.7 volts. The same atomiser was used for the high-voltage experiment. A total of 15 liquids will be tested, 4 of them with both normal and high voltage. Vapor is produced by a vacuum pump applying negative pressure on the tip of the atomizer. The vapor is drawn into a flask containing 20ml cell medium. Each puff lasts 4 second, with 1 minute interpuff interval. The total amount of liquid evaporated is 200mg, in order to have a 1% theoretical concentration of vapor extract into the medium. Cigarette smoke extract from 3 cigarettes was prepared according to ISO method. The cells were impregmated with each e-cigarette vapor extract and with smoke extract and after 24hours incubation, viability was determined in comparison with cells cultured in clear cell medium.

The study is still underway, however we can provide some details. In Figure 1 below, you can see the cells under microscope. This figure show cells that were cultured on clear medium (not containing vapor or smoke extract). Figure 2 shows cells cultured in cigarette smoke extract. The image shows that after 24h incubation, most cells have disappeared and have dissolved in the cell medium, while the rest of them are also probably dead (major change in shape and size). Viability rate was 3.9% for cells cultured with cigarette smoke extract. Figure 3 shows the microscopic image of cells cultured in electronic cigarette vapor extract. The image looks similar to figure 1. Indeed, viability was measured at more than 100%.

Stay tuned for the final results…


Figure 1. Microscopic image of cells cultured in clear cell medium

Figure 2. Microscopic image of cells cultured in cell medium with cigarette smoke extract

Figure 3. Microscopic image of cells cultured in cell medium with electronic cigarette vapor extract


Figure 4. Experimental setting



                                                                                Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos



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