Essay on CNTs Toxicity in Real Time

Essay on CNTs Toxicity in Real Time

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Ever since their discovery in 1991, Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have gained a lot of interest due to their many unique physical and chemical properties. They are almost one dimensional structures with high mechanical strength (100 times stronger than Steel), ultra-light weight (1/6th the weight of steel) and exhibit excellent electrical and thermal conductivity. Most importantly, CNTs have the ability to effectively cross biological barriers and cellular membrane allowing their use in a wide spectrum of biomedical applications such as bio-imaging, disease targeting and the delivery of therapeutic molecules, genes or drugs.
Currently, advances in the biomedical applications of CNTs are being hindered by many uncertainties regarding their cellular uptake mechanisms and fate inside the body. Recent reports have shown that CNTs toxicity can be attributed to metal impurities, length, size, surface area, aggregation, coating, immobilization, uptake, or internalization, to name a few. However; up to now there are no compelling reports that provide fundamental understanding of the toxicological and pharmacological profiles of cellular systems exposed to CNTs with different chemical and physical properties.
Conventional methods to assess the toxicity of CNTs rely on bio-cellular and optical microscopy assays performed at certain time points. These essays provide an overview of the toxicological profiles associated with CNTs exposure by analyzing protein expressions, gene expression, cellular viability, morphology at discrete time points. However; The majority of these essays provide a single analysis of one cellular aspect at a time, which means that we can't study more than one cellular variable at a time, and we can't use the same sample fo...

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...ion and migration negatively, where longer CNTs lead to more toxic effects. The surface charge of CNTs affects the degree of aneuploidy and genotoxicity. Finally, the size of CNTs determines the number of CNTs inside the cell, where the highest of uptake was noticed with the shortest, most hydrophilic CNTs. (Manuscript in preparation).
The significance of this research lies within its ability to provide fundamental understanding of the cellular behavior in real time. This research is the first to correlate the cellular behavior and fate to the physical and chemical properties of CNTs. Using an engineered platform that correlates cellular responses to nanomaterial exposure in real time will lead to developing a library of data that would allow the knowledge of the presence, identification and quantification of the characteristics of nanomaterial, chemical or toxins.

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