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Artificial nanoparticles influence the heart rate
Date:8/1/2011

for example, leads to a large refractive index that makes the substance appear brilliant white. It is thus often used in white coating paints or as a UV blocker in sunscreens. So-called carbon black is also a widely used nanoparticle (mainly in car tires and plastics) with over 8 million tons produced annually. The small size of these nanoparticles (they measure only 14 nanometers across) makes them well suited as dyes, e.g. in printers and copying machines.

With their enhanced Langendorff heart, the researchers have now for the first time developed a measurement setup that can be used to analyze the effects of nanoparticles on a complete, intact organ without being influenced by the reactions of other organs. The heart is a particularly good test object. "It has its own impulse generator, the sinus node, enabling it to function outside the body for several hours," Andreas Stampfl, first author of the study, explains. "Additionally, changes in the heart function can be clearly recognized using the heart rate and ECG chart."

"We now have a model for a superior organ that can be used to test the influence of artificial nanoparticles," Niener explains further. "The next thing we want to do is to find out why some nanoparticles influence the heart function, while others do not influence the heart at all." Both manufacturing process and shape may play an important role. Hence, the scientists plan further studies to examine the surfaces of different types of nanoparticles and their interactions with the cells of the cardiac wall.


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Contact: Dr. Andreas Battenberg
battenberg@zv.tum.de
49-892-891-0510
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Source:Eurekalert  

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