Development of an In Vitro Test and a Prototype Model to Predict Cellular Penetration of Nanoparticles
Testing in vivo all the potential biological effects of the anticipated large number of nanoscale products is impossible because the time and expense would be considerable. Accordingly, an urgent need exists to develop both a systematic short-term in vitro test that can predict the toxicity of nanoparticles (NPs) and computational toxicological tools that can predict NP toxicity from their physicochemical properties. In this study, we will focus on the penetration of NPs into and their pathological effects on epithelial cell layers because epithelial cells represent the body’s first line of defense against the introduction of NPs and other potentially harmful materials. An interdisciplinary team consisting of environmental engineers, a cell biologist and toxicologist, and a computational chemist has been assembled to systematically evaluate cellular responses to NPs with varied morphology, surface chemistry, and composition (including coatings and metals); and, thus to develop the test and tools described above. The ultimate goal of this project is to comprehensively integrate such data into a structure/activity paradigm or algorithm so that NP penetration of and pathology to epithelial cells can be predicted from their physicochemical parameters.
Nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies