Nanomaterial translocation - the biokinetics, tissue accumulation, toxicity and fate of materials in secondary organs: a review

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Engineered nanomaterials (NMs) offer great technological advantages but their risks to human health are still not fully understood. An increasing body of evidence suggests that some NMs are capable of distributing from the site of exposure to a number of secondary organs. The research into the toxicity posed by the NMs in these secondary organs is expanding due to the realisation that some materials may reach and accumulate in these target sites. The translocation to secondary organs includes, but is not limited to, the hepatic, central nervous, cardiovascular and renal systems. Current data indicates that pulmonary exposure is associated with low (inhalation route-0.00001-1% of total applied dose-24 h) translocation of virtually insoluble NMs such as iridium, carbon black, gold and polystyrene, while slightly higher translocation has been observed for NMs with either slow (e.g. silver, cerium dioxide and quantum dots) or fast (e.g. zinc oxide) solubility. The translocation of NMs following intratracheal, intranasal and pharyngeal aspiration is higher (up to 10% of administered dose), however the relevance of these routes for risk assessment is questionable. Uptake of the materials from the gastrointestinal tract seems to follow the same pattern as inhalation translocation, whereas the dermal uptake of NMs is generally reported to be low. The toxicological effects in secondary organs include oxidative stress, inflammation, cytotoxicity and dysfunction of cellular and physiological processes. For toxicological and risk evaluation, further information on the toxicokinetics and persistence of NMs is crucial. The overall aim of this review is to outline the data currently available in the literature on the biokinetics, accumulation, toxicity and eventual fate of NMs in order to assess the potential risks posed by NMs to secondary organs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Reviews in Toxicology
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)837-872
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 151326577