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Title: Biophysical responses upon the interaction of nanomaterials with cellular interfaces
Authors: Wu, Yun-Long
Putcha, Nirupama
Ng, Kee Woei
Leong, David Tai Wei
Lim, Chwee Teck
Loo, Joachim Say Chye
Chen, Xiaodong
Keywords: DRNTU::Engineering::Materials
Issue Date: 2012
Source: Wu, Y. L., Putcha, N., Ng, K. W., Leong, D. T. W., Lim, C. T., Loo, S. C. J., et al. (2012). Biophysical responses upon the interaction of nanomaterials with cellular interfaces. Accounts of chemical research, 46(3), 782-791.
Series/Report no.: Accounts of chemical research
Abstract: The explosion of study of nanomaterials in biological applications (the nano–bio interface) can be ascribed to nanomaterials’ growing importance in diagnostics, therapeutics, theranostics (therapeutic diagnostics), and targeted modulation of cellular processes. However, a growing number of critics have raised concerns over the potential risks of nanomaterials to human health and safety. It is essential to understand nanomaterials’ potential toxicity before they are tested in humans. These risks are complicated to unravel, however, because of the complexity of cells and their nanoscale macromolecular components, which enable cells to sense and respond to environmental cues, including nanomaterials. In this Account, we explore these risks from the perspective of the biophysical interactions between nanomaterials and cells. Biophysical responses to the uptake of nanomaterials can include conformational changes in biomolecules like DNA and proteins, and changes to the cellular membrane and the cytoskeleton. Changes to the latter two, in particular, can induce changes in cell elasticity, morphology, motility, adhesion, and invasion. This Account reviews what is known about cells’ biophysical responses to the uptake of the most widely studied and used nanoparticles, such as carbon-based, metal, metal-oxide, and semiconductor nanomaterials. We postulate that the biophysical structure impairment induced by nanomaterials is one of the key causes of nanotoxicity. The disruption of cellular structures is affected by the size, shape, and chemical composition of nanomaterials, which are also determining factors of nanotoxicity. Currently, popular nanotoxicity characterizations, such as the MTT and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assays, only provide end-point results through chemical reactions. Focusing on biophysical structural changes induced by nanomaterials, possibly in real-time, could deepen our understanding of the normal and altered states of subcellular structures and provide useful perspective on the mechanisms of nanotoxicity. We strongly believe that biophysical properties of cells can serve as novel and noninvasive markers to evaluate nanomaterials’ effect at the nano–bio interface and their associated toxicity. Better understanding of the effects of nanomaterials on cell structures and functions could help identify the required preconditions for the safe use of nanomaterials in therapeutic applications.
DOI: 10.1021/ar300046u
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:MSE Journal Articles

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