Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Cotton fibres instead of carbon nanotubes

Abstract:
Plant-based cellulose nanofibres do not pose a short-term health risk, especially short fibres, shows a study conducted in the context of National Research Programme "Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials" (NRP 64). But lung cells are less efficient in eliminating longer fibres.

Cotton fibres instead of carbon nanotubes

Bern, Switzerland | Posted on May 9th, 2015

Similar to carbon nanotubes that are used in cycling helmets and tennis rackets, cellulose nanofibres are extremely light while being extremely tear-resistant. But their production is significantly cheaper because they can be manufactured from plant waste of cotton or banana plants. "It is only a matter of time before they prevail on the market," says Christoph Weder of the Adolphe Merkle Institute at the University of Fribourg.

In the context of the National Research Programme "Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials" (NRP 64), he collaborated with the team of Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser to examine whether these plant-based nanofibres are harmful to the lungs when inhaled. The investigation does not rely on animal testing; instead the group of Rothen-Rutishauser developped a complex 3D lung cell system to simulate the surface of the lungs by using various human cell cultures in the test tube.

The shorter, the better

Their results (*) show that cellulose nanofibres are not harmful: the analysed lung cells showed no signs of acute stress or inflammation. But there were clear differences between short and long fibres: the lung cell system efficiently eliminated short fibres while longer fibres stayed on the cell surface.

"The testing only lasted two days because we cannot grow the cell cultures for longer," explains Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser. For this reason, she adds, they cannot say if the longer fibre may have a negative impact on the lungs in the long term. Tests involving carbon nanotubes have shown that lung cells lose their equilibrium when they are faced with long tubes because they try to incorporate them into the cell to no avail. "This frustrated phagocytosis can trigger an inflammatory reaction," says Rothen-Rutishauser. To avoid potential harm, she recommends that companies developing products with nanofibres use fibres that are short and pliable instead of long and rigid.

National Research Programme "Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials" (NRP 64)

The National Research Programme "Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials" (NRP 64) hopes to be able to bridge the gaps in our current knowledge on nanomaterials. Opportunities and risks for human health and the environment in relation to the manufacture, use and disposal of synthetic nanomaterials need to be better understood. The projects started their research work in December 2010.

Full bibliographic information
(*) C. Endes, S. Mueller, C. Kinnear et al. (2015). Fate of Cellulose Nanocrystal Aerosols Deposited on the Lung Cell Surface In Vitro. Biomacromolecules online: doi: 10.1021/acs.biomac.5b00055

####

About Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
Acting on a mandate issued by the Swiss Federal Government, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) supports research undertaken inside and outside universities and fosters young scientific talent.

The Foundation Council is the governing body of the SNSF, which was founded in 1952. The Foundation Council has representatives of the scientific and research communities, the Federal Government and the cantons as well as economic and cultural institutions.

The Research Council, which is divided into four Divisions, evaluates research projects and makes decisions about awarding grants. The Local Research Commissions award fellowships for prospective researchers and assist the SNSF with the evaluation of grant applications.

The Secretariat, based in Berne, does the groundwork for the business of the Foundation and Research Councils and is responsible for administrative and financial duties.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Martina Stofer
0041 31 308 23 87


Prof. Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser
Adolphe Merkle Institute
University of Fribourg
Ch. des Verdiers 4
CH-1700 Fribourg
Tel.: +41 (0) 26 300 95 02

Copyright © AlphaGalileo

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Hanging by a thread: Imaging and probing chains of single atoms: Scientists develop a method to visualize monoatomic chains and measure the strength and conductance of single-atom bonds May 14th, 2021

Nanophotonics enhanced coverslip for phase imaging in biology May 14th, 2021

New technology enables rapid sequencing of entire genomes of plant pathogens May 14th, 2021

Harvesting light like nature does:Synthesizing a new class of bio-inspired, light-capturing nanomaterials May 14th, 2021

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes/Nanorods

Optically active defects improve carbon nanotubes: Heidelberg scientists achieve defect control with a new reaction pathway April 9th, 2021

Graphene nanotubes gain traction in automotive market: OCSiAl confirms compliance with IATF 16949 March 9th, 2021

Nanomaterials researchers in Finland, the United States and China have created a color atlas for 466 unique varieties of single-walled carbon nanotubes. December 14th, 2020

Chemists get peek at novel fluorescence: Rice University scientists discover delayed phenomenon in carbon nanotubes December 3rd, 2020

Discoveries

Emergence of a new heteronanostructure library May 14th, 2021

Hanging by a thread: Imaging and probing chains of single atoms: Scientists develop a method to visualize monoatomic chains and measure the strength and conductance of single-atom bonds May 14th, 2021

Nanophotonics enhanced coverslip for phase imaging in biology May 14th, 2021

You're so vein: Scientists discover faster way to manufacture vascular materials May 14th, 2021

Materials/Metamaterials

Silver ions hurry up, then wait as they disperse: Rice chemists show ions’ staged release from gold-silver nanoparticles could be useful property April 23rd, 2021

Synthetic gelatin-like material mimics lobster underbelly’s stretch and strength: The membrane’s structure could provide a blueprint for robust artificial tissues April 23rd, 2021

Oregon scientists create mechanism to precisely control soundwaves in metamaterials: Theoretical modeling shows that designer materials incorporating drum-like membranes allow precise stoppage and reversal of sound pulses April 16th, 2021

FSU engineers improve performance of high-temperature superconductor wires April 16th, 2021

Announcements

Emergence of a new heteronanostructure library May 14th, 2021

Nanophotonics enhanced coverslip for phase imaging in biology May 14th, 2021

New technology enables rapid sequencing of entire genomes of plant pathogens May 14th, 2021

Harvesting light like nature does:Synthesizing a new class of bio-inspired, light-capturing nanomaterials May 14th, 2021

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

Hanging by a thread: Imaging and probing chains of single atoms: Scientists develop a method to visualize monoatomic chains and measure the strength and conductance of single-atom bonds May 14th, 2021

Nanophotonics enhanced coverslip for phase imaging in biology May 14th, 2021

New technology enables rapid sequencing of entire genomes of plant pathogens May 14th, 2021

Harvesting light like nature does:Synthesizing a new class of bio-inspired, light-capturing nanomaterials May 14th, 2021

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

No nanoparticle risks to humans found in field tests of spray sunscreens December 2nd, 2020

Phytoplankton disturbed by nanoparticles: Due to its antibacterial properties, nanosilver is used in a wide range of products from textiles to cosmetics; but nanosilver if present at high concentrations also disrupts the metabolism of algae that are essential for the aquatic food November 27th, 2020

Study: Nanoparticles produced from burning coal result in damage to mice lungs, suggesting toxicity to humans February 5th, 2020

NIOSH requests data to help develop exposure limits for nanomaterials February 1st, 2020

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project