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Length-dependent pathogenic effects of nickel nanowires in the lungs and the peritoneal cavity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-911
Number of pages13
JournalNanotoxicology
Volume6
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Abstract

The use of fibre-shaped nanomaterials in commercial applications has met with concern that they could cause health effects similar to those seen with pathogenic fibres such as certain forms of asbestos. Of the attributes which form the fibre pathogenicity paradigm, fibre length is thought to be a critical factor in determining fibre toxicity. We have previously shown that carbon nanotubes display such length-dependent pathogenicity but it remains unclear if other forms of fibrous nanomaterials conform to the fibre pathogenicity paradigm. As such, our aim is to determine the generality of this hypothesis by asking whether a radically different form of fibrous nanomaterial, nickel nanowires, show length-dependent pathogenicity. Our results indicate that nickel nanowires synthesised to be predominantly long (>20 μm) show the ability to elicit strong inflammation in the mouse peritoneal model in a dose-dependent manner; inflammation or fibrosis was not seen with the short (<5 μm) nanowires. This length-dependent response was also seen after lung aspiration and within a macrophage in vitro model adding further weight to the contention that fibre length is an important driver of hazard potential. This may have important implications when considering the hazard posed by fibrous nanomaterials and their regulation in workplaces.

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