Title: Nanoparticle toxicity by the gastrointestinal route: evidence and knowledge gaps

Authors: Ingrid L. Bergin; Frank A. Witzmann

Addresses: Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Michigan, 1150 W. Medical Center Dr, 018 ARF, Ann Arbor, MI 48197, USA ' Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine, 1345 West 16th Street, Indianapolis IN 46202, USA

Abstract: The increasing interest in nanoparticles for advanced technologies, consumer products, and biomedical applications has led to great excitement about potential benefits but also concern over the potential for adverse human health effects. The gastrointestinal tract represents a likely route of entry for many nanomaterials, both directly through intentional ingestion or indirectly via nanoparticle dissolution from food containers or by secondary ingestion of inhaled particles. Additionally, increased utilisation of nanoparticles may lead to increased environmental contamination and unintentional ingestion via water, food animals, or fish. The gastrointestinal tract is a site of complex, symbiotic interactions between host cells and the resident microbiome. Accordingly, evaluation of nanoparticles must take into consideration not only absorption and extraintestinal organ accumulation but also the potential for altered gut microbes and the effects of this perturbation on the host. The existing literature was evaluated for evidence of toxicity based on these considerations. Focus was placed on three categories of nanomaterials: nanometals and metal oxides, carbon-based nanoparticles, and polymer/dendrimers with emphasis on those particles of greatest relevance to gastrointestinal exposures.

Keywords: nanoparticles; nanoparticle toxicity; nanotechnology; nanomaterials; ingestion; oral; gastrointestinal tract; nanometals; silver; gold; titanium dioxide; silica; quantum dots; QDs; copper; carbon nanotubes; CNTs; dendrimers; polymers; altered gut microbes; absorption; nanotoxicity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBNN.2013.054515

International Journal of Biomedical Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 2013 Vol.3 No.1/2, pp.163 - 210

Available online: 17 Jun 2013 *

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