In Vitro Diagnosis and Analysis of the Potential Effects of Carbon Nanotube Exposure on the Human Respiratory System

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Recent discoveries of various forms of carbon nanostructure have stimulated researches on their applications and hold promise for applications in medicine and many other related engineering areas. While carbon nanotubes (CNT’s) are already being produced on a massive scale, few studies have been performed which test the potential cytotoxic effects of this new technology. We used 3-dimensional tissue-engineered airway mucosa using a co-culture of normal human bronchial epithelial cells and normal human fibroblasts for the health risk assessment of CNTs and their nano-structure on the human respiratory systems. We are measuring the production of nitric oxide (NO) as an inflammatory marker and mass transfer coefficients following exposure of different concentrations and sizes of CNTs to either the cellular monolayer or the co-culture. Our results indicated that NO production was dramatically increased and cell viability was decreased following exposure of different concentrations of CNTs. The mass transfer coefficient across the cells in co-culture was not equal to the sum of the coefficients from the individual monolayers due to interaction between the cell and nanoparticles. This study will provide a science-based, comprehensive understanding of potential toxicity and ultimately enable the safer use of CNTs and CNT-based materials as novel nano-scale medical tools.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Nanotechnology 2008: Life Sciences, Medicine & Bio Materials – Technical Proceedings of the 2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 2
Published: June 1, 2008
Pages: 157 - 160
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Personal & Home Care, Food & Agriculture
Topic: Environmental Health & Safety of Nanomaterials
ISBN: 978-1-4200-8504-4