Navigation Links
Carbon nanoparticles break barriers -- and that may not be good
Date:9/15/2011

INDIANAPOLIS A study by researchers from the schools of science and medicine at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis examines the effects of carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) on living cells. This work is among the first to study concentrations of these tiny particles that are low enough to mimic the actual exposure of an ordinary individual.

The effects on the human body of exposure to CNPs -- minute chemicals with rapidly growing applications in electronics, medicine, and many other fields -- is just beginning to be revealed. Exposure at the level studied by the IUPUI researchers is approximately equivalent to what might be the result of improperly disposing of an item such as a television or computer monitor containing CNPs, living near a CNP producing facility, or working with CNPs.

The research, published in the September 2011 issue of the journal Nanotoxicology, focuses on the effect of low concentration CNP exposure on the cells that line the renal nephron, a tubular structure inside the kidney that makes urine. The investigators found the role of the CNPs in this part of the body to be significant and potentially worrisome.

"Unlike many other studies, we have used low concentrations of CNPs that are typical of what might appear in the body after ingesting them from environmental contamination or even from breathing air with CNPs. We found that these minute particles cause leakage in the cellular lining of the renal nephron," said study first author Bonnie Blazer-Yost, Ph.D., professor of biology at the School of Science at IUPUI and adjunct professor of cellular and integrative physiology and of anatomy and cell biology at the IU School of Medicine.

"Breaching this biological barrier concerns us because things that should be retained in the forming urine can leak back into the blood stream and things in the blood can leak into the urine. Normal biological substances as well as waste products are dangerous if they go where they are not supposed to be," Blazer-Yost said.

"These CNPs don't kill cells so they are not lethal, but they do affect cells, and in this case it's an adverse effect," said corresponding and senior author Frank Witzmann, Ph.D., professor of cellular and integrative physiology and of biochemistry and molecular biology at the IU School of Medicine and adjunct professor of biology at the School of Science.

Biological barriers are very important to human health. The most well understood is the skin, but there are many others. "The human body needs intact barriers, whether it be skin, airway linings, gut walls or the kidney cells we looked at in this study. We need to gain a better understanding of how CNPs modify and change characteristics of barriers as these tiny particles become more common in the air we breathe," said Witzmann.

The two researchers note that these incredibly strong particles, visible only under an electron microscope, perform useful functions including roles in drug delivery and are responsible for many advances in electronics such as the impressive colors seen on plasma televisions and computer monitors. What they worry about is when CNPs enter the air and the environment and eventually the human body from inappropriate disposal or from manufacture of products containing the particles.

This study is part of the team's larger body of work, which looks at the effect of CNPs on barriers throughout the body including those of the airways and large intestine.

"At this point, we know that CNPs have many beneficial qualities, but also pose potential risks. These particles are so small that when they get into various organs or systems they can bind to many things. We need to further study what they look like in various parts of the body, how they affect protein expression, as well as what they do when they cross a barrier or are excreted," said Witzmann.

"Studying the cellular alterations in the urine-blood barrier in the kidney caused by repeated exposure to low concentrations of CNPs is the initial step to understanding the assault on the human body of accidental exposure to CNPs but it is an important one," said Blazer-Yost.

Adam Amos, a study co-author, performed some of the initial work that contributed to this study during a five-semester intensive undergraduate research experience in the Blazer-Yost laboratory in the School of Science. He is currently attending the IU School of Medicine. The work was continued as part of the Ph.D. thesis research of Amiraj Banga.


'/>"/>

Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Carbon nanostructures form the future of electronics and optoelectronics
2. Growth in the global carbon budget
3. Carbon sinks: Issues, markets, policy
4. Carbon dioxide scrubber captures greenhouse gases
5. UNC study on properties of carbon nanotubes, water could have wide-ranging implications
6. Study: Tropical wetlands hold more carbon than temperate marshes
7. Diatom genome helps explain success in trapping excess carbon in oceans
8. Earthworm activity can alter forests carbon-carrying capabilities
9. Global warming predicted to hasten carbon release from peat bogs
10. Revised theory suggests carbon dioxide levels already in danger zone
11. Engineer to present leak-proof method for carbon dioxide storage at international conference
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Carbon nanoparticles break barriers -- and that may not be good
(Date:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , Revenues amounted ... quarter of 2015 The gross margin was 49% (27) ... the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per share ... operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook   ... M. The operating margin for 2016 is estimated to ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for ... biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration ... modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the ... readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom of ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... 2016 BioCatch ™, the ... announced the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger as ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time of ... deployment of its platform at several of the world,s ... discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a winner ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... is exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest ... ClinCapture will also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... new line of intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC ... in Chicago. The result of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 ReportsnReports.com adds 2016 ... its pharmaceuticals section with historic and forecast data ... more. Complete report on the Cell ... 15 companies and supported with 261 tables and ... . The Global Cell Culture Media ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... from $29.3 billion in 2013. The market is expected to grow ... 2015 to 2020, increasing from $50.6 billion in 2015 to $96.6 ... during the forecast period (2015 to 2020) are discussed. As well, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: