The Nanotoxicological Influence of Nanoparticles, with Special Reference to the Vasculature
Pp. 73-84 (12)
In the last decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the synthesis of engineered
nanomaterials for a wide variety of applications. Despite the clear advantages of these applications,
especially in medical intervention and therapeutics, the influence of nanoparticle exposure on cellular
and organ function remains poorly understood. The nanoscale size of nanoparticles (<100 nm) allows
their penetration into cells and, due to their large surface area per unit mass, they are more reactive than
larger scale particles. This has led government and scientific organisations to call for a need to assess
the safety of engineered nanomaterials and determine the mechanism of their interaction with cells and
tissues. Nanotoxicity is now an emerging and expanding discipline that addresses these issues to ensure
the well being of living organisms. The results from recent studies in the literature demonstrate that the
nanotoxicological influence of nanoparticles is dependent on their size, charge, cell type and material
composition. There also remains a number of methodological considerations and the need for precise
physicochemical characterisation of nanoparticles before their use in nanotoxicity studies. Recent
studies also highlight the need to adequately assess the toxic effects of nanomedicines on all cells and
tissues, including the vasculature, using in vitro as well as in vivo studies.
Nanomaterial; nanotoxicity; vasculature; uptake; endocytosis; smooth muscle cells; endothelial
cells, caveolae; contractility.
School of Healthcare Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering,Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK.