Nanoparticle-Cell Interactions: Relevance for Public Health.
Nanoparticles, especially metal oxide nanoparticles, are used in a wide range of commercial and industrial applications that result in direct human contact, such as titanium dioxide nanoparticles in paints, food colorings, and cosmetics, or indirectly through release of nanoparticle-containing materials into the environment. Workers who process nanoparticles for downstream applications are exposed to especially high concentrations of nanoparticles. For physical chemists, nanoparticles present an interesting area of study as the small size of nanoparticles changes the properties from that of the bulk material, leading to novel properties and reactivity. For the public health community, this reduction in particle size means that exposure limits and outcomes that were determined from bulk material properties are not necessarily valid. Informed determination of exposure limits requires a fundamental understanding of how nanoparticles interact with cells. This Feature Article highlights the areas of intersection between physical chemistry and public health in understanding nanoparticle-cell interactions, with a focus on titanium dioxide nanoparticles. It provides an overview of recent research examining the interaction of titanium dioxide nanoparticles with cells in the absence of UV light and provides recommendations for additional nanoparticle-cell research in which physical chemistry expertise could help to inform the public health community.
Runa, S; Hussey, M; Payne, CK
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