University of Cambridge > > Electrical Engineering > Exploitation of Alternative, Non-rodent Models to Assess the Toxicity of Nanomaterials.

Exploitation of Alternative, Non-rodent Models to Assess the Toxicity of Nanomaterials.

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Nanomaterials (NMs) are defined as having at least one dimension that is 1-100 nm in diameter. At the nanoscale, novel properties emerge in materials, which has led to an increase in the incorporation of NMs in an array of consumer products. Accordingly, NM exploitation has grown enormously over recent years and the use of NMs now spans diverse sectors (e.g. pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, textiles, food, electronics, automotive, construction, agriculture, and pigments/inks). Despite the increased prevalence of NMs in the marketplace, there are still uncertainties surrounding their potential detrimental impact on human health. Toxicity testing has traditionally relied on rodents, however the use of alternative models can allow better alignment of nanotoxicology with the 3Rs principles, to reduce, refine and replace animal testing. In addition the more widespread adoption of alternative, non-rodent models can allow a quicker, more ethical and often cheaper assessment of NM toxicity . In vitro (cell based) models of varied complexity and zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos are being increasingly used to assess the toxicity of NMs, and the benefits and limitations of these models for assessing the response of different systems will be discussed. Early life stages of zebrafish (

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