The peculiar physical/chemical characteristics of engineered nanomaterials have led to a rapid increase of nanotechnology-based applications in many fields. However, before exploiting their huge and wide potential, it is necessary to assess their effects upon interaction with living systems. In this context, the screening of nanomaterials to evaluate their possible toxicity and understand the underlying mechanisms currently represents a crucial opportunity to prevent severe harmful effects in the next future. In this work we show the in vivo toxicity of gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) in Drosophila melanogaster, highlighting significant genotoxic effects and, thus, revealing an unsettling aspect of the long-term outcome of the exposure to this nanomaterial. After the treatment with Au NPs, we observed dramatic phenotypic modifications in the subsequent generations of Drosophila, demonstrating their capability to induce mutagenic effects that may be transmitted to the descendants. Noteworthy, we were able to obtain the first nanomaterial-mutated organism, named NM-mut. Although these results sound alarming, they underline the importance of systematic and reliable toxicology characterizations of nanomaterials and the necessity of significant efforts by the nanoscience community in designing and testing suitable nanoscale surface engineering/coating to develop biocompatible nanomaterials with no hazardous effects for human health and environment. From the Clinical Editor: While the clinical application of nanomedicine is still in its infancy, the rapid evolution of this field will undoubtedly result in a growing number of clinical trials and eventually in human applications. The interactions of nanoparticles with living organisms determine their toxicity and long-term safety, which must be properly understood prior to large-scale applications are considered. The paper by Dr. Pompa's team is the first ever demonstration of mutagenesis resulting in clearly observable phenotypic alterations and the generation of nano-mutants as a result of exposure to citrate-surfaced gold nanoparticles in drosophila. These groundbreaking results are alarming, but represent a true milestone in nanomedicine and serve as a a reminder and warning about the critical importance of "safety first" in biomedical science.
Mutagenic effects of gold nanoparticles induce aberrant phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster / G. Vecchio, A. Galeone, V. Brunetti, G. Maiorano, L. Rizzello, S. Sabella, R. Cingolani, P.P. Pompa. - In: NANOMEDICINE. - ISSN 1549-9634. - 8:1(2012), pp. 1-7.
|Titolo:||Mutagenic effects of gold nanoparticles induce aberrant phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster|
|Parole Chiave:||Nanotoxicology; Gold nanoparticles; Drosophila melanogaster; Genotoxicity|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore CHIM/08 - Chimica Farmaceutica|
Settore CHIM/09 - Farmaceutico Tecnologico Applicativo
Settore BIO/14 - Farmacologia
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nano.2011.11.001|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|