Durability and inflammogenic impact of carbon nanotubes compared with asbestos fibres

Megan J Osmond-McLeod, Craig A Poland, Fiona Murphy, Lynne Waddington, Howard Morris, Stephen C Hawkins, Steve Clark, Rob Aitken, Maxine J McCall, Kenneth Donaldson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been suggested that carbon nanotubes might conform to the fibre pathogenicity paradigm that explains the toxicities of asbestos and other fibres on a continuum based on length, aspect ratio and biopersistence. Some types of carbon nanotubes satisfy the first two aspects of the fibre paradigm but only recently has their biopersistence begun to be investigated. Biopersistence is complex and requires in vivo testing and analysis. However durability, the chemical mimicking of the process of fibre dissolution using in vitro treatment, is closely related to biopersistence and more readily determined. Here, we describe an experimental process to determine the durability of four types of carbon nanotubes in simulated biological fluid (Gambles solution), and their subsequent pathogenicity in vivo using a mouse model sensitive to inflammogenic effects of fibres. The in vitro and in vivo results were compared with well-characterised glass wool and asbestos fibre controls.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15
JournalParticle and Fibre Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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