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Toxicity study of nanostructures

English title Toxicity study of nanostructures
Applicant Forro Laszlo
Number 125299
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Laboratoire de nanostructures et nouveaux matériaux électroniques EPFL - SB - IPMC - LNNME
Institution of higher education EPF Lausanne - EPFL
Main discipline Condensed Matter Physics
Start/End 01.04.2009 - 31.03.2012
Approved amount 225'875.00
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Keywords (8)

carbon nanotubes; inorganic nanofilaments; toxicity; cell proliferation and metabolism; surface functionalization; interdisciplinary; MTT assay; flow cytometry

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
New technologies are going to explore the creation of functional devices at nanometer scales, which necessitates the production and handling of components of submicron size. The last decade has seen the rapid development of various nanostructures, especially that of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Due to the many exceptional properties, CNTs are foreseen to be building blocks of new technologies and are highly desirable in many industrial products such as flat panel screens, composite materials or catalysis supports, just to mention a few. Although these and other nanostructures (inorganic nanofilaments (INFs): nanowires, nanotubes) are very promising, the putative health hazards associated with their production and handling are of primordial importance. In Switzerland, at many places, intensive research on carbon nanotubes and inorganic nanofilaments is carried out (EPFL, University of Basel, ETHZ, EMPA, CSEM, University of Fribourg, etc). Since the structural appearance of CNTs is close to that of asbestos fibers, a well-known risk factor for several cancer types, one needs to better know the risk factors posed by nanomaterials. This verification is not only relevant at the national level, but certainly is a worldwide necessity [See, R.F. Service, Nanotubes: the next asbestos?, Science 281, 941 (1998)].The still rather low number of toxicity studies on novel nanomaterials, focused mainly on CNTs has not yet yielded a conclusive picture, often due to e.g. different models or different cell lines used. We propose a detailed investigation of the toxicity of different carbon nanostructures (e.g. with various attached functional groups) and of INFs, starting with a thorough structural and chemical analysis. In various in vitro cell culture models including co-cultures of different cell types, we plan to study the uptake into cells or the translocation across the epithelial cell layer. Finally, we want to validate different cytotoxicity assays using nanomaterials to assessing the predictive value of such tests for the long-term pathology/toxicology of these materials. The long-term goal is also the elucidation of the mechanism(s) of nanomaterial toxicity. We are convinced that in this joint interdisciplinary effort of material scientists, chemists and experts in life sciences, a clearer picture will emerge on the putative hazards of these technologically relevant nanostructures.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
In Vitro Investigation of the Cellular Toxicity of Boron Nitride Nanotubes
Horvath Lenke, Magrez Arnaud, Golberg Dmitri, Zhi Chunyi, Bando Yoshio, Smajda Rita, Horvath Endre, Forro Laszlo, Schwaller Beat (2011), In Vitro Investigation of the Cellular Toxicity of Boron Nitride Nanotubes, in ACS NANO, 5(5), 3800-3810.
Cell type dependence of carbon based nanomaterial toxicity
Horvath Lenke, Magrez Arnaud, Forro Laszlo, Schwaller Beat (2010), Cell type dependence of carbon based nanomaterial toxicity, in PHYSICA STATUS SOLIDI B-BASIC SOLID STATE PHYSICS, 247(11-12), 3059-3062.
Cellular Toxicity of TiO2-Based Nanofilaments
Magrez Arnaud, Horvath Lenke, Smajda Rita, Salicio Valeie, Pasquier Nathalie, Forro Laszlo, Schwaller Beat (2009), Cellular Toxicity of TiO2-Based Nanofilaments, in ACS NANO, 3(8), 2274-2280.

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
139226 IncuCyte-based high throughput imaging-based platform for determination of cellular and molecular events in real time in cultured cells in vitro: application to nanomaterial studies, cancer and cardiovascular research 01.12.2011 R'EQUIP
138306 Application of Synchrotron-based Fourier Transform Infrared Microspectroscopy 01.02.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)
156981 Application of Synchrotron-based Fourier Transform Infrared Microspectroscopy 01.03.2015 Project funding (Div. I-III)
128729 Nano-Optical processing and characterization of complex media for materials research and life sciences 01.01.2010 R'EQUIP

Abstract

New technologies are going to explore the creation of functional devices at nanometer scales, which necessitates the production and handling of components of submicron size. The last decade has seen the rapid development of various nanostructures, especially that of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Due to the many exceptional properties, CNTs are foreseen to be building blocks of new technologies and are highly desirable in many industrial products such as flat panel screens, composite materials or catalysis supports, just to mention a few. Although these and other nanostructures (inorganic nanofilaments (INFs): nanowires, nanotubes) are very promising, the putative health hazards associated with their production and handling are of primordial importance. In Switzerland, at many places, intensive research on carbon nanotubes and inorganic nanofilaments is carried out (EPFL, University of Basel, ETHZ, EMPA, CSEM, University of Fribourg, etc). Since the structural appearance of CNTs is close to that of asbestos fibers, a well-known risk factor for several cancer types (see Figs. 1 and 2), one needs to better know the risk factors posed by nanomaterials. This verification is not only relevant at the national level, but certainly is a worldwide necessity [See, R.F. Service, Nanotubes: the next asbestos?, Science 281, 941 (1998)].The still rather low number of toxicity studies on novel nanomaterials, focused mainly on CNTs has not yet yielded a conclusive picture, often due to e.g. different models or different cell lines used. We propose a detailed investigation of the toxicity of different carbon nanostructures (e.g. with various attached functional groups) and of INFs, starting with a thorough structural and chemical analysis. In various in vitro cell culture models including co-cultures of different cell types, we plan to study the uptake into cells or the translocation across the epithelial cell layer. Finally, we want to validate different cytotoxicity assays using nanomaterials to assessing the predictive value of such tests for the long-term pathology/toxicology of these materials. The long-term goal is also the elucidation of the mechanism(s) of nanomaterial toxicity. We are convinced that in this joint interdisciplinary effort of material scientists, chemists and experts in life sciences, a clearer picture will emerge on the putative hazards of these technologically relevant nanostructures.
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