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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Indicators of Nanotoxicity


Despite being presented here some of the indicators of nanotoxicity of nanoparticles, there is still a wide gap of knowledge in regard to this specific topic and nanotoxicology as a whole. However, in spite of the wide gap of knowledge, many worthy efforts and a whole series of hard work in this field are underway already. Nevertheless, many challenges are still waiting to be overcome.



Preface

In the alignment of my article
 "The Roots of Nano-Fear Decoded"and preceding the approach taken in my previous article - "Nanotoxicity in Humans" - I will now address a nanotoxicity overview, dedicated to indicators of nanotoxicity. Later on, I will attempt to point out ways and propose solutions in order fight and prevent nanotoxicity.


Introductio
n

Traditionally, in toxicological studies carried out at macroscale or bulkscale, the toxic effects are normally correlated to the quantity of toxic product to which individuals are exposed.

This rule of the thumb means that "the greater the mass of toxic substance absorbed, the greater the toxic effect on individuals exposed".


Specific Surface

However, in the case of nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles, once again the macroscale rules don’t apply. It has been demonstrated that the measured nanotoxic effects are not linked to the mass of the nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles.

Several studies find a reasonable correlation between the specific surface of a nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticle and its nanotoxic effects.


Several Additional
 Parameters

On the other hand, several parameters can additionally contribute to the nanotoxicity of nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles. Furthermore, with the currently limited existing scientific knowledge regarding nanotoxicity and nanotoxicology, it is extremely complex to weight the relative impact of each of these factors in order to predict accurately the toxicity of a new nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticle under study.

T
he published scientific literature links the observed nanotoxic effects of nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles to a wide range of different chemical and physical parameters, such as, for example:
  • Number of nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles;
  • Size of nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles;
  • Shape of nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles;
  • Surface charge of nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles;
  • Crystalline structure of nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles;
  • Concentration of nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles;
  • Porosity of nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles;
  • Electrostatic attraction potential of nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles;
  • Degree of agglomeration of the nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles;
  • Hydrophilic/hydrophobic behaviour of nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles;
  • Synthesis method employed on the nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles;
  • Post-synthesis modifications of nanotoxic nanoengineered nanoparticles.


Final Comments

Despite being presented here some of the indicators of nanotoxicity of nanoparticles, there is still a wide gap of knowledge in regard to this specific topic and nanotoxicology as a whole.


However, in spite of the wide gap of knowledge, many worthy efforts and a whole series of hard work in this field are underway already. 

Nevertheless, many challenges are still waiting to be overcome.


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