Assessment of functional nanomaterials in medical applications: can time mend public and occupational health risks related to the products’ fate?

Surface coatings are one promising option to prevent bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation given the prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacterial strains. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is presently considered to be the only photocatalytic material suitable for commercial use, although the toxicity risks of TiO2, particularly in its nanoparticulate form, have not been fully addressed. The aim of this study was to determine release of nanoparticles (NPs) from functional materials for medical applications and their aerosol formation. Further, the fate of the material with respect to its product lifetime was investigated. The present study examined the risk of NP exposure since released submicronic and inhalable manufactured nano-objects, their agglomeraates or aggregates containing Ti were detected. The coating of the material magnifies its emission levels when comparing the obtained product properties to those of an uncoated sample. The evolution of release tendency with the material’s time of use shows that release does not vanish upon continuous material losses induced by the release, thus the risk does not diminish with time. Consequently, this nanomaterial TiO2 needs to be avoided in healthcare settings, or, alternatively, new TiO2-deposition techniques are required to be developed.

Authors: Bressot C, Aubry, Pagnoux C, Aguerre-Chariol O, Morgeneyer M. ; Full Source: Journal of Toxicology & Environmental Health A. 2018 Oct 12:1-17. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2018.1477271. [Epub ahead of print]