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Special Issue "Nanotoxicology"

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A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Toxicology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2012)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. David Sheehan (Website)

Proteomic Research Laboratory, Head of School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, University College Cork, Western Gateway Building, Western Rd, Cork, Ireland
Phone: 353 21 4904207
Fax: +35 321 427 4034
Interests: enzymology and evolution of glutathione transferases; application of proteomics to study of oxidative stress; implications of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species for kidney function; environmental toxicology; nanomaterials as emerging toxicological threats

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nanomaterials are defined as possessing at least one dimension less than 100nm. These include naturally-occurring products of combustion processes (e.g. volcanic dust) and man-made (anthropogenic) engineered materials. At least part of the appeal of nanomaterials arises from the fact that even relatively inert materials have interesting and different chemical properties on the nanoscale compared to the same material on the macroscale. These properties depend partly on chemical composition but also on aspects of nanoparticle geometry such as surface area. There is growing concern that at least some nanomaterials can readily cross biobarriers such as skin, lung epithelium and the blood-brain barrier and, in this way, may pose an emerging toxic threat to human health. Remarkably little is known about the fate of nanomaterials in the environment and study of issues such as dose-response, routes of exposure and appropriate benchmark controls are in their infancy. In addition, nanomaterials can become coated with a “corona” of proteins which have the potential to confer biospecific recognition properties on them, perhaps facilitating their internalisation into cells or interaction with biological targets. Notwithstanding this, the technological application of nanomaterials (nanotechnology) is one of the fastest-growing areas of materials science and is making contributions to new medical devices, electronics, automobile manufacture and new paints/varnishes. There is a general perception that applications research in nanotechnology is outpacing research into the new field of nanotoxicology. This special issue will address this research need by bringing together research articles and reviews focusing on aspects of nanotoxicology such as the need for rigorous nanoparticle physicochemical characterisation, the question of defined dose and contribution of composition, size and geometry to toxicity in biological systems.

Prof. Dr. David Sheehan
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • nanoparticles
  • nanomaterials
  • nanotechnology
  • nanotoxicology
  • dose-response

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Dextran and Polymer Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) Coating Reduce Both 5 and 30 nm Iron Oxide Nanoparticle Cytotoxicity in 2D and 3D Cell Culture
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(5), 5554-5570; doi:10.3390/ijms13055554
Received: 15 February 2012 / Revised: 15 April 2012 / Accepted: 30 April 2012 / Published: 9 May 2012
Cited by 63 | PDF Full-text (1064 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are widely used in biomedical applications, yet questions remain regarding the effect of nanoparticle size and coating on nanoparticle cytotoxicity. In this study, porcine aortic endothelial cells were exposed to 5 and 30 nm diameter iron oxide nanoparticles [...] Read more.
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are widely used in biomedical applications, yet questions remain regarding the effect of nanoparticle size and coating on nanoparticle cytotoxicity. In this study, porcine aortic endothelial cells were exposed to 5 and 30 nm diameter iron oxide nanoparticles coated with either the polysaccharide, dextran, or the polymer polyethylene glycol (PEG). Nanoparticle uptake, cytotoxicity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, and cell morphology changes were measured. Endothelial cells took up nanoparticles of all sizes and coatings in a dose dependent manner, and intracellular nanoparticles remained clustered in cytoplasmic vacuoles. Bare nanoparticles in both sizes induced a more than 6 fold increase in cell death at the highest concentration (0.5 mg/mL) and led to significant cell elongation, whereas cell viability and morphology remained constant with coated nanoparticles. While bare 30 nm nanoparticles induced significant ROS formation, neither 5 nm nanoparticles (bare or coated) nor 30 nm coated nanoparticles changed ROS levels. Furthermore, nanoparticles were more toxic at lower concentrations when cells were cultured within 3D gels. These results indicate that both dextran and PEG coatings reduce nanoparticle cytotoxicity, however different mechanisms may be important for different size nanoparticles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotoxicology)
Open AccessArticle Novel Drug Delivery System Based on Docetaxel-Loaded Nanocapsules as a Therapeutic Strategy Against Breast Cancer Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(4), 4906-4919; doi:10.3390/ijms13044906
Received: 8 February 2012 / Revised: 7 March 2012 / Accepted: 6 April 2012 / Published: 19 April 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (466 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the field of cancer therapy, lipid nanocapsules based on a core-shell structure are promising vehicles for the delivery of hydrophobic drugs such as docetaxel. The main aim of this work was to evaluate whether docetaxel-loaded lipid nanocapsules improved the anti-tumor effect [...] Read more.
In the field of cancer therapy, lipid nanocapsules based on a core-shell structure are promising vehicles for the delivery of hydrophobic drugs such as docetaxel. The main aim of this work was to evaluate whether docetaxel-loaded lipid nanocapsules improved the anti-tumor effect of free docetaxel in breast cancer cells. Three docetaxel-loaded lipid nanocapsules were synthesized by solvent displacement method. Cytotoxic assays were evaluated in breast carcinoma (MCF-7) cells treated by the sulforhodamine B colorimetric method. Cell cycle was studied by flow cytometry and Annexin V-FITC, and apoptosis was evaluated by using propidium iodide assays. The anti-proliferative effect of docetaxel appeared much earlier when the drug was encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles than when it was free. Docetaxel-loaded lipid nanocapsules significantly enhanced the decrease in IC50 rate, and the treated cells evidenced apoptosis and a premature progression of the cell cycle from G(1) to G(2)-M phase. The chemotherapeutic effect of free docetaxel on breast cancer cells is improved by its encapsulation in lipid nanocapsules. This approach has the potential to overcome some major limitations of conventional chemotherapy and may be a promising strategy for future applications in breast cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotoxicology)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Polyethylene Glycol Modification of TiO2 Nanoparticles on Cytotoxicity and Gene Expressions in Human Cell Lines
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(3), 3703-3717; doi:10.3390/ijms13033703
Received: 27 December 2011 / Revised: 13 March 2012 / Accepted: 14 March 2012 / Published: 21 March 2012
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (280 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nanoparticles (NPs) are tiny materials used in a wide range of industrial and medical applications. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a type of nanoparticle that is widely used in paints, pigments, and cosmetics; however, little is known about the impact of [...] Read more.
Nanoparticles (NPs) are tiny materials used in a wide range of industrial and medical applications. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a type of nanoparticle that is widely used in paints, pigments, and cosmetics; however, little is known about the impact of TiO2 on human health and the environment. Therefore, considerable research has focused on characterizing the potential toxicity of nanoparticles such as TiO2 and on understanding the mechanism of TiO2 NP-induced nanotoxicity through the evaluation of biomarkers. Uncoated TiO2 NPs tend to aggregate in aqueous media, and these aggregates decrease cell viability and induce expression of stress-related genes, such as those encoding interleukin-6 (IL-6) and heat shock protein 70B’ (HSP70B’), indicating that TiO2 NPs induce inflammatory and heat shock responses. In order to reduce their toxicity, we conjugated TiO2 NPs with polyethylene glycol (PEG) to eliminate aggregation. Our findings indicate that modifying TiO2 NPs with PEG reduces their cytotoxicity and reduces the induction of stress-related genes. Our results also suggest that TiO2 NP-induced effects on cytotoxicity and gene expression vary depending upon the cell type and surface modification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotoxicology)

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