EUON Publishes Nanopinion on the Transportation of Nanoparticles across the Blood-Brain Barrier


On September 13, 2022, the European Union (EU) Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON) published a Nanopinion entitled “Can the Brain’s Gatekeeper Fight a Nano-Attack?” by Dr. Eugenia (Éva) Valsami-Jones, Professor of Environmental Nanoscience at the University of Birmingham, who co-authored an article entitled “Biotransformation modulates the penetration of metallic nanomaterials across an artificial blood–brain barrier model.” The researchers set out to explore systematically how different nanoparticle properties play a role in their potential to be transported across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). To be able to test their hypotheses, they constructed a model BBB inside a special permeable well, on which human cells representative of the BBB were cultured and tested to ensure their function precisely replicated that of the real barrier. The researchers then investigated what factors affect the ability of a number of model nanoparticles, specifically cerium oxide, iron oxide, zinc oxide, and silver in different particle sizes and shapes, to cross the model BBB. Valsami-Jones states that the researchers discovered that silver and zinc oxide nanoparticles, “which are often used in consumer goods, including healthcare products, have the potential to cross the BBB and enter the brain in the form of both particles and dissolved ions, depending on the size, shape and exposure concentration.”

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Nano and Other Emerging Chemical Technologies Blog, 14-09-22