Jun
08
2008

Toxicity testing of nanomaterials

Are nanomaterials safe?

Nanomaterials & health
Nanomaterials & healthCourtesy GiselaGiardino²³
Nanomaterials show promise for curing diseases. But, how can we assess the risk of these nanomaterials causing problems within the human organism. Studies in animals are expensive and time consuming. Also, different cell types can respond differently to the same nanomaterial.

A fast screening method could help separate the good from the bad

Stanley Shaw and researchers from the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT recently tested 50 different nanoparticles--mainly particles used for medical imaging, including mostly iron-based particles, as well as several types of quantum dots. The particles also had various chemical coatings.

The researchers tested each of the nanoparticles in four different types of cells--immune cells from mice, two types of human blood-vessel cells, and human liver cells--and at four different dosages. To create the different combinations, a robotic system similar to that used for drug screening placed the nanoparticles inside tiny wells on a plate containing hundreds of separate wells. Each well contained one cell type. The screening system then detected changes in the cells' metabolism in response to the nanomaterial. Computer software analyzed the data, looking for relationships between the different particles. Technology Review

The new screening tool, described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help narrow the list of nanomaterials that need to undergo animal testing.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

it looks so horible.

posted on Mon, 12/19/2011 - 4:39am

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