Investigating the potential of nanofibre physico-chemical properties to elicit genotoxicity in vitro

Research aims to use in vitro testing strategies in addition to establishing methodologies for their applicability to determine the nanofibre genotoxicity.

Despite the heightened intrinsic mechanical and physical properties of nanofibres that have led to their proposed use within a variety of applications, their inevitable human exposure, either via an occupational or consumer scenario, has raised increased concerns because of their potential to elucidate adverse health effects. In order to assess the potential for nanofibres to elicit any form of adverse human health effects, it is essential that not only their potential acute hazard is considered, but also their possibility to inflict a chronic biological insult, i.e. genotoxicity. Following physical characterisation in order to determine the precise nanomaterial that is delivered and interacts with the biological system used, it is imperative that a thorough in vitro risk assessment is performed prior to an in vivo evaluation. In this regard, it is important that an in vitro system that closely mimics the in vivo situation, although fundamental enough to gain a mechanistic understanding of the nanofibre-cell interaction, is used. Additionally, reliable and reproducible methodologies must be assessed with such in vitro systems for their efficiency and efficacy. By undertaking such an experimental approach, a clear understanding as to the mechanics associated with the potential for nanofibre genotoxicity will be gained.

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