Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Combined Forces Of Physics And Medicine To Investigate Hidden Toxity

27.10.2005


A physicist and a medical researcher at the University of Leicester have received a grant of £100,000 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to look at possible toxic damage from inhaled nanoparticles used for a range of everyday purposes.



The small size of nanoparticles in the size range 5-100 nm gives many novel and useful properties and they are used in applications as diverse as face creams, plastics, medical imaging, novel drug therapies and magnetic recording. Such particles are increasingly manufactured and released into the environment on industrial scales.

However, there is growing concern that the very same properties that make them so useful may also lead to enhanced toxicity if the particles are breathed in. The particles are so small - 100,000 particles laid end-to-end would only stretch a few millimetres - that it is not clear how the body’s normal defence mechanisms will cope with them.


By harnessing their combined expertise in physics and medicine, Dr Paul Howes, Department of Physics & Astronomy, and Dr Jonathan Grigg, Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, will research possible toxic damage from inhaled nanoparticles.

Dr Howes and Dr Grigg will produce macrophages from human blood monocytes and expose them, in vitro, to an aerosol of metal nanoparticles, measuring any toxic damage to their DNA. Precise control over the size, chemical composition and dose of particles with enable them to determine whether there is a correlation between size and toxicity. The potential for genotoxicity (and therefore increased vulnerability to lung cancer) is an important factor when setting national air quality guidelines for particles. It is envisaged that this exposure technique, which more closely mimics "real life" exposure, will allow genotoxicity to be assessed for a wide range of manufactured nanoparticles.

Monocyte-derived macrophages were chosen since airway macrophages are a part of the body’s immune system and normally reside deep in the lungs where they form the first line of defence against inhaled particles.

Dr Howes commented: "I am excited at the potential of this collaborative research that will enable us to study the crucially important question of nanoparticle toxicology. The new aerosol spectrometer purchase from the grant, combined with the University’s existing microscopy facility, will give us unique ability to characterise and control the aerosol to answer fundamental questions about the interaction of nanoparticles with the human immune system."

Dr Grigg said: "This research may have profound implications for nanotechnology, if exposure of lung cells to low levels of highly reactive particles induces significant genotoxicity."

Alex Jelley | alfa
Further information:
http://ebulletin.le.ac.uk/news/press-releases/2000-2009/2005/10/nparticle-ymy-79f-3fd
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Computer model predicts how fracturing metallic glass releases energy at the atomic level
20.07.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
18.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>