State Univeristy of New York at Stony Brook, Department of Chemical and Molecular Engineering
Adverse Effects of Gold Nanoparticles on Human Skin Cells.
Over the last couple of decades metal and metal oxide nanoparticles are used in many scientific applications due to their size dependent chemical, electrical and optical properties that make them very promising agents in many fields such as medicine, imaging techniques, catalysis and electronics. There are many different techniques and methods to synthesize nanomaterial with unique set of properties allowing tuning them for specific applications. Materials change as their size approaches the nanoscale and as the percentage of atoms at the surface of a material becomes significant. Therefore, characterization of nanomaterials is one of the crucial steps in nanotechnology since nano-sized objects present possible dangers, both medically and environmentally. Most of these are due to the high surface to volume ratio, which can make the particles very reactive or catalytic. They are also able to pass through cell membranes in organisms, and their interactions with biological systems are relatively unknown. The large number of variables influencing nanoparticles toxicity (chemical composition, shape, surface structure, charge, aggregation, solubility, and presence or absence of functional groups) makes it difficult to generalize about health risks associated with exposure to nanomaterials – each new nanomaterial must be assessed individually and all material properties must be taken into account.