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Posted: January 22, 2009

CELL PEN report considers health risks of nanomaterials in relation to cellular translocation

(Nanowerk News) One of the major concerns regarding the possible toxic effects of nanoparticles is the capacity of these materials to penetrate cells and potentially translocated to other cells, tissues and organs remote from the portal of entry to the body.
In a report published by DEFRA this week, the Institute of Occupational Medicine, Edinburgh, together with a team of multi-disciplinary experts presents an informed commentary and research agenda toward elucidating the importance of translocation in nanoparticle toxicology.
The project focussed on several key target sites of concern for particle translocation, namely; 1) pulmonary interstitium; 2) other lung cells; 3) blood; 4) blood vessel wall; 5) placenta/foetus; and 6) brain
Project outcomes highlight knowledge to date, research gaps, and outline a set of cross-cutting themes for future cell penetration studies, and a list of targeted recommendations for specific aspects of future translocation and penetration studies. Amongst these, are cross-cutting themes to be considered for future cell penetration/translocation studies, and targeted research priorities for both Mechanistic Toxicology Research (in vitro, in vivo & in silico); and Hazard Generation & Risk Assessment.
“Enhancing our knowledge of the physico-chemical properties which influence the efficacious, benign or toxic interaction between nanomaterials and cells will help inform our understanding of experimental observations and the design of engineered nanomaterials intended for particular applications” said Dr Steve Hankin, Senior Consultant at IOM & lead author of the report.
The consortium behind the report was formed from members of SnIRC - the Safety of Nanoparticles Interdisciplinary Research Centre – including IOM, Edinburgh University, Napier University Edinburgh & Central Science Laboratories, York. In preparation of the report, opinion was also sought from a variety of leading experts across a range of stakeholder groups, from both within the UK and throughout Europe.
SM Hankin, CL Tran, B Ross, K Donaldson, V Stone, Q Chaudhry, 2008, "CELL PEN: A Study to identify the physico-chemical factors controlling the capacity of nanoparticles to penetrate cells." (pdf download, 518 KB).
About the Institute of Occupational Medicine
The Institute of Occupational Medicine is a major independent centre of scientific excellence in the fields of occupational and environmental health, hygiene and safety. Our mission is to benefit those at work and in the community by providing quality research, consultancy and training in health, hygiene and safety and by maintaining our independent, impartial position as an international centre of excellence. The IOM has more than one hundred scientific, technical and support staff based in Edinburgh, Chesterfield, London and Stafford.
About SnIRC
The Safety of Nanomaterials Interdisciplinary Research Centre (SnIRC) aims to develop a conherent integrated program of work to increase awareness of the issues relating to nanoparticles, health and the environment, and to generate a comprehensive and coherent body of scientific evidence to aid development of UK nanotechnology whilst simultaneously safeguarding workplace, public and environmental health. SnIRC is based on existing collaborations between the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh, Napier University, Aberdeen University, Edinburgh University and the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Source: Safenano