Understanding Toxicology of Engineered Nanomaterials
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It is essential to thoroughly understand the safety implications of Engineered Nanomaterials (ENs) and the factors that influence their associated potential hazards. Towards this overarching goal, research continues to identify and build associations between specific physicochemical properties of ENs and the corresponding toxicological responses. An emerging “rule of thumb” in nanotoxiology suggests that ENs that are less than 100 nm in diameter can enter cells, those with diameters below 40 nm can enter the cell nucleus and those that are smaller than 35 nm can pass through the blood–brain barrier. Understanding the way these ENs interact with living matter will open up fundamentally new opportunities in multiple applications. Current studies have primarily assessed cytotoxicity of nanomaterials at moderate to high exposure doses. These investigations have overlooked the subtle cellular alterations that may arise at lower concentrations, which may not result in cell death (as required in cytotoxicity tests) but could contribute to health risks. In this talk, our studies in understanding subtle, time-varying cellular responses on exposure to varying ENs will be presented. We will also highlight our efforts to correlate cell-based viability assays to real-time assessment methods – impedance spectroscopy and correlative microscopy.
- Nano@Tech Lecture Series