Navigation Links
NTU-led research probes potential link between cancer and a common chemical in consumer products
Date:11/29/2011

A study led by a group of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) researchers has found that a chemical commonly used in consumer products can potentially cause cancer.

The chemical, Zinc Oxide, is used to absorb harmful ultra violet light. But when it is turned into nano-sized particles, they are able to enter human cells and may damage the cells' DNA. This in turn activates a protein called p53, whose duty is to prevent damaged cells from multiplying and becoming cancerous. However, cells that lack p53 or do not produce enough functional p53 may instead develop into cancerous cells when they come into contact with Zinc Oxide nanoparticles.

The study is led by Assistant Professor Joachim Loo, 34, and Assistant Professor Ng Kee Woei, 37, from NTU's School of Materials Science and Engineering. They worked with Assistant Professor David Leong, 38, from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore, a joint senior author of this research paper.

The findings suggest that companies may need to reassess the health impact of nano-sized Zinc Oxide particles used in everyday products. More studies are also needed on the use and concentration levels of nanomaterials in consumer products, how often a consumer uses them and in what quantities.

"Currently there is a lack of information about the risks of the nanomaterials used in consumer products and what they can pose to the human body. This study points to the need for further research in this area and we hope to work with the relevant authorities on this," said Asst Prof Loo.

The groundbreaking research findings were published in this month's edition of Biomaterials, one of the world's top journals in the field of biomaterials research. The breakthrough also validated efforts by Asst Prof Loo and Asst Prof Ng to pioneer a research group in the emerging field of nanotoxicology, which is still very much in its infancy throughout the world.

Nanotoxicology studies materials to see if they are toxic or harmful when they are turned into nano-sized particles. This is because nanomaterials usually have very different properties when compared to when the materials are of a larger size.

Asst Prof Ng said the team will carry out further research as the DNA damage brought about by nano-sized Zinc Oxide particles is currently a result of an unknown mechanism. But what is clear is that besides causing DNA damage, nanoparticles can also cause other harmful effects when used in high doses.

"From our studies, we found that nanoparticles can also increase stress levels in cells, cause inflammation or simply kill cells," said Asst Prof Ng who added that apart from finding out the cellular mechanism, more focused research is also expected to ascertain the physiological effects and damage that nano-sized Zinc Oxide particles can cause.

Asst Prof Loo pointed out that besides enhancing the understanding of the potential risks of using nanomaterials, advancements in nanotoxicology research will also help scientists put nanomaterials to good use in biomedical applications.

For example, although killing cells in our bodies is typically undesirable, this becomes a positive outcome if it can be effectively directed towards cancer cells in the body. At the same time, the team is also studying how nanomaterials can be "re-designed" to pose a lesser risk to humans, yet still possess the desired beneficial properties.

This research discovery is one of the latest in a series of biomedical breakthroughs by NTU in healthcare. Future healthcare is one of NTU's Five Peaks of Excellence with which the university aims to make its mark globally under the NTU 2015 five-year strategic plan. The other four peaks are sustainable earth, new media, the best of the East and West, and innovation.

Moving forward, the team hopes to work with existing and new collaborative partners, within and outside of Singapore, to orchestrate a more concerted effort towards the advancement of the fledgling field of nanotoxicology here, with the aim of helping regulatory bodies in Singapore formulate guidelines to protect consumer interests.

The research team would also like to work with the European Union to uncover the risks involving nanomaterials and how these materials should be regulated before they are made commercially available. Asst Prof Joachim Loo, who received his Bachelor and Doctorate degrees from NTU, was the only Singaporean representative in a recent nanotechnology workshop held in Europe. At the workshop, it was agreed that research collaborations in nanotoxicology between EU and South-east Asia should be increased.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lester Kok
lesterkok@ntu.edu.sg
65-679-06804
Nanyang Technological University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Embedded Mobile & M2M Device revenues to Rise to Almost $19 Billion Globally by 2014, Says Juniper Research
2. 2010 HSR Impact Award recognizes surgical safety research
3. MSU launches first anti-counterfeiting research program
4. Researchers map all the fragile sites of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiaes genome
5. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
6. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
7. Family Research Council: Planned Parenthood Report Oversexualizes Ten-Year-Olds, Undermines Parental Authority
8. Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $1 Million to Drive Critical New Research Tools and Technologies in Parkinsons Drug Development
9. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
10. International Diabetes Federation awards $2 million to 9 global diabetes research projects
11. Gladstones Robert Mahley to receive Research!America advocacy award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
NTU-led research probes potential link between cancer and a common chemical in consumer products
(Date:2/12/2016)... Washington, DC (PRWEB) , ... ... ... the Siemens Foundation today announced a new initiative—the Siemens Foundation-PATH Ingenuity Fellowships—to ... settings. The partnership will recruit top students from U.S. universities who will ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Fixed Dose ... – 3:00 p.m. EST, http://www.fdanews.com/fixeddosecombination , Fixed dose ... products, garnering increased attention from all stakeholders in the development of new chemical ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 12, 2016 , ... Coco Libre, the maker of coconut water beverages with ... Style Lounge Event. Coco Libre will offer musicians and celebrities the company’s signature Organic ... The invitation-only gifting suite, held this year at the W Hollywood Hotel, has become ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... as a Service (WaaS), today announced the integration of Clarity Intelligence Platform (CIP) ... channel partners to offer real-time business intelligence (BI) to their small and medium ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... AssureVest Insurance Group, a ... initiating a charity drive that will raise funds earmarked to purchase computers and software ... Elementary School. , “My school is in a low-income area and has more than ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... 12, 2016   National Community Pharmacists Association ... issued the following statement today in response to the ... the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and ... advocates and others: patient advocacy organizations ... reviewing the full CMS analysis. Our initial reaction is ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Demers Ambulances announces its first delivery in ... Okaloosa County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) consisting ... one LT2 van. Quality Emergency Vehicles in Lecanto, ... the sale.  This is the latest in Demers, ongoing expansion ... President at Demers. --> Benoit LaFortune , Executive ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Feb. 12, 2016  Memorial Hermann Health ... Dwight Howard to bring a one-of-a-kind experience ... . Using cutting-edge technologies such as 360-degree video and ... both virtually, then literally – giving the patients and ... and it was all caught on video . ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: