Nanoparticles cause brain injury in fish

Sep 19, 2011

Scientists at the University of Plymouth have shown, for the first time in an animal, that nanoparticles have a detrimental effect on the brain and other parts of the central nervous system.

They subjected to nanoparticles which are widely used as a whitening agent in many products including paints, some personal care products, and with applications being considered for the food industry. They found that the particles caused vacuoles (holes) to form in parts of the brain and for in the brain to die. Although some effects of nanoparticles have been shown previously in and other in vitro systems this is the first time it has been confirmed in a live vertebrate.

The results will be presented at the "6th International meeting on the Environmental Effects on Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials" (21st – 23rd September) at the Royal Society in London.

"It is not certain at this stage of the research whether these effects are caused by the nanoparticles entering the brain or whether it is a secondary effect of nanoparticle chemistry or reactivity", says Professor Richard Handy, lead scientist.

The results of Professor Handy's work and that of other researchers investigating the biological effects of nanoparticles may influence policy regulations on the environmental protection and human safety of nanomaterials.

"It is worrying that the effects on the fish brain caused by these nanoparticles have some parallels with other substances like mercury poisoning, and one concern is that the materials may bioaccumulate and present a progressive or persistent hazard to wildlife and to humans", says Professor Handy.

Explore further: Synthetic virus developed to deliver a new generation of medicines

Provided by Society for Experimental Biology

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Safety of nanoparticles in food crops is still unclear

Jun 01, 2011

With the curtain about to rise on a much-anticipated new era of "nanoagriculture" — using nanotechnology to boost the productivity of plants for food, fuel, and other uses —scientists are reporting a huge gap in ...

Nanoparticles trigger cell death?

Nov 13, 2008

Nanoparticles that are one milliard of a metre in size are widely used, for example, in cosmetics and food packaging materials. There are also significant amounts of nanoparticles in exhaust emissions. However, very little ...

EPA wants nanotechnology studied

Mar 16, 2006

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded grants worth $5 billion Thursday for a study of the health and environmental effects of nanotechnology.

Recommended for you

Introducing the multi-tasking nanoparticle

Aug 26, 2014

Kit Lam and colleagues from UC Davis and other institutions have created dynamic nanoparticles (NPs) that could provide an arsenal of applications to diagnose and treat cancer. Built on an easy-to-make polymer, these particles ...

Tissue regeneration using anti-inflammatory nanomolecules

Aug 22, 2014

Anyone who has suffered an injury can probably remember the after-effects, including pain, swelling or redness. These are signs that the body is fighting back against the injury. When tissue in the body is damaged, biological ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Sean_W
1 / 5 (1) Sep 19, 2011
How did they "subject" the trout injection or in the water? Was it a realistic dose (the kind they would be expected to be exposed to in real world scenarios)? Will this research be overturned in three months like so many others?