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Home > News > Instant insight: The growth of nanotoxicology

March 23rd, 2009

Instant insight: The growth of nanotoxicology

Christy Haynes and colleagues from the University of Minnesota, US, look at analytical techniques used to assess nanotechnology's effects on health

The use of engineered nanomaterials in consumer products is expanding - a current report by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Pew Charitable Trusts identifies more than 800 commercial nanomaterial-containing products, accounting for $147 billion (approximately 104 billion) yearly. The materials show promise in disease treatment or solar power generation. Yet, despite the fact that so many are in commercial use, very little is known about their effects on health. As scientists around the world try to fill this information void, nanotoxicology research has grown rapidly and a wide variety of analytical techniques are used to assess biodistribution (tracking where the compounds travel in the body), cellular uptake and both in vivo and in vitro toxicity.

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