Application of nanoscale materials (NMs) displays a rapidly increasing trend in electronics, optics, chemical catalysis, biotechnology, and medicine due to versatile nature of NMs and easily adjustable physical, physicochemical, and chemical properties. However, the increasing abundance of NMs also poses significant new and emerging health and environmental risks. Despite growing efforts, understanding toxicity of NMs does not seem to cope with the demand, because NMs usually act entirely different from those of conventional small molecule drugs. Currently, large-scale application of available safety assessment protocols, as well as their furthering through case-by-case practice, is advisable. We define a standard work-scheme for nanotoxicity evaluation of NMs, comprising thorough characterization of structural, physical, physicochemical, and chemical traits, followed by measuring biodistribution in live tissue and blood combined with investigation of organ-specific effects especially regarding the function of the brain and the liver. We propose a range of biochemical, cellular, and immunological processes to be explored in order to provide information on the early effects of NMs on some basic physiological functions and chemical defense mechanisms. Together, these contributions give an overview with important implications for the understanding of many aspects of nanotoxicity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)