Physico-Chemical Properties Mediating Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity of Engineered Nanomaterials
Abstract:With the increasing production of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) exploited in many consumer products, a wider number of people is expected to be exposed to such materials in the near future, both in occupational and environmental settings. This has raised concerns about the possible implications on public health. In particular, very recently the scientific community has focused on the effect that ENMs might exert on the reproductive apparatus and on embryonic development. Indications that ENMs might have adverse effects on cells of the germ line and on the developing embryos have been reported. In the present minireview we will perform a critical analysis of the published work on reproductive and developmental toxicity of the most commonly used nanoparticles with a major focus on mammalian models. We will place emphasis on the main physico-chemical characteristics that can affect NP behaviour in biological systems, i.e. presence of contaminants and nanoparticle destabilization, size, dosage, presence of functional groups, influence of the solvent used for their suspension in biological media, aggregation/agglomeration, intrinsic chemical composition and protein corona/opsonisation.
The importance of this specific field of nanotoxicology is documented by the rapidly increasing number of published papers registered in the last three years, which might be a consequence of the growing concerns on the possible interference of ENMs with reproductive ability and pregnancy outcome, in a time in which reproductive age has increased and the possibility to bear children appears reduced.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2012-09-01
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