Special Issue "From Basic Research to New Tools and Challenges for the Genotoxicity Testing of Nanomaterials"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (18 June 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Valérie FESSARD
Website
Guest Editor
French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, Laboratoire de Fougères, Unité Toxicologie des Contaminants, 10B rue C. Bourgelat, 35 306 Fougères Cedex, FRANCE
Interests: Toxicology, DNA damage, food contaminants
Dr. Fabrice Nesslany
Website
Guest Editor
Institut Pasteur de Lille, Service Toxicologie, 1, rue du professeur Calmette, 59 000 Lille, FRANCE
Interests: Toxicology, DNA damage, nanomaterials, air pollution, risk assessment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is open to contributions presenting studies on the genotoxicity of nanomaterials. The human population is exposed to a broad diversity of nanomaterials either manufactured or found naturally. Issues are regularly faced when addressing risk assessments for nanomaterials, and their increasing use in consumer products raises public health concerns. Although tremendous data have been published or provided during collaborative funded projects, conclusions on the genotoxicity of well-known nanomaterials are controversial, the key drivers involved in the genotoxic response of nanomaterials are still unclear, as are the underlying mechanisms. Moreover, the assay conditions for genotoxicity testing are still debated.

Papers reporting on the following are welcome: i) the role of the physico-chemical characteristics of nanomaterials (shape, size, protein corona, coating) including modifications occurring throughout their lifecycle as part of the genotoxic response; ii) investigation of the interference with in vitro genotoxicity assays including improved protocols or new methods to overcome this interference; iii) conditions for genotoxicity testing including the cell line(s) to be used, maximum dose/concentration and the method of nanomaterial dispersion; iv) proposals for nanomaterial reference controls; and finally v) the development of new tools as well as new approaches (grouping, ranking, safe(r)-by-design, read-across, etc.) to improve and facilitate genotoxicity testing.

Dr. Valérie FESSARD
Dr. Fabrice Nesslany
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • in vitro and in vivo genotoxicity
  • mutagenicity
  • DNA damage
  • mechanism of action
  • reference material
  • new tools
  • interference
  • physico-chemical drivers of genotoxicity
  • lifecycle
  • conditions of genotoxicity assays

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
From Basic Research to New Tools and Challenges for the Genotoxicity Testing of Nanomaterials
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(10), 2073; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10102073 - 20 Oct 2020
Abstract
Genotoxicity is one of the key endpoints investigated as early as possible before marketing a product [...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Argovit™ Silver Nanoparticles Effects on Allium cepa: Plant Growth Promotion without Cyto Genotoxic Damage
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(7), 1386; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10071386 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Due to their antibacterial and antiviral effects, silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are one of the most widely used nanomaterials worldwide in various industries, e.g., in textiles, cosmetics and biomedical-related products. Unfortunately, the lack of complete physicochemical characterization and the variety of models used to [...] Read more.
Due to their antibacterial and antiviral effects, silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are one of the most widely used nanomaterials worldwide in various industries, e.g., in textiles, cosmetics and biomedical-related products. Unfortunately, the lack of complete physicochemical characterization and the variety of models used to evaluate its cytotoxic/genotoxic effect make comparison and decision-making regarding their safe use difficult. In this work, we present a systematic study of the cytotoxic and genotoxic activity of the commercially available AgNPs formulation Argovit™ in Allium cepa. The evaluated concentration range, 5–100 µg/mL of metallic silver content (85–1666 µg/mL of complete formulation), is 10–17 times higher than the used for other previously reported polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-AgNP formulations and showed no cytotoxic or genotoxic damage in Allium cepa. Conversely, low concentrations (5 and 10 µg/mL) promote growth without damage to roots or bulbs. Until this work, all the formulations of PVP-AgNP evaluated in Allium cepa regardless of their size, concentration, or the exposure time had shown phytotoxicity. The biological response observed in Allium cepa exposed to Argovit™ is caused by nanoparticles and not by silver ions. The metal/coating agent ratio plays a fundamental role in this response and must be considered within the key physicochemical parameters for the design and manufacture of safer nanomaterials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hepato(Geno)Toxicity Assessment of Nanoparticles in a HepG2 Liver Spheroid Model
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(3), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10030545 - 18 Mar 2020
Cited by 9
Abstract
(1) In compliance with the 3Rs policy to reduce, refine and replace animal experiments, the development of advanced in vitro models is needed for nanotoxicity assessment. Cells cultivated in 3D resemble organ structures better than 2D cultures. This study aims to compare cytotoxic [...] Read more.
(1) In compliance with the 3Rs policy to reduce, refine and replace animal experiments, the development of advanced in vitro models is needed for nanotoxicity assessment. Cells cultivated in 3D resemble organ structures better than 2D cultures. This study aims to compare cytotoxic and genotoxic responses induced by titanium dioxide (TiO2), silver (Ag) and zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) in 2D monolayer and 3D spheroid cultures of HepG2 human liver cells. (2) NPs were characterized by electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, laser Doppler anemometry, UV-vis spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. Cytotoxicity was investigated by the alamarBlue assay and confocal microscopy in HepG2 monolayer and spheroid cultures after 24 h of NP exposure. DNA damage (strand breaks and oxidized base lesions) was measured by the comet assay. (3) Ag-NPs were aggregated at 24 h, and a substantial part of the ZnO-NPs was dissolved in culture medium. Ag-NPs induced stronger cytotoxicity in 2D cultures (EC50 3.8 µg/cm2) than in 3D cultures (EC50 > 30 µg/cm2), and ZnO-NPs induced cytotoxicity to a similar extent in both models (EC50 10.1–16.2 µg/cm2). Ag- and ZnO-NPs showed a concentration-dependent genotoxic effect, but the effect was not statistically significant. TiO2-NPs showed no toxicity (EC50 > 75 µg/cm2). (4) This study shows that the HepG2 spheroid model is a promising advanced in vitro model for toxicity assessment of NPs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles on the Hprt Gene Mutations in V79 Hamster Cells
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(3), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10030465 - 05 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The genotoxicity of anatase/rutile TiO2 nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs, NM105 at 3, 15 and 75 µg/cm2) was assessed with the mammalian in-vitro Hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (Hprt) gene mutation test in Chinese hamster lung (V79) fibroblasts after 24 [...] Read more.
The genotoxicity of anatase/rutile TiO2 nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs, NM105 at 3, 15 and 75 µg/cm2) was assessed with the mammalian in-vitro Hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (Hprt) gene mutation test in Chinese hamster lung (V79) fibroblasts after 24 h exposure. Two dispersion procedures giving different size distribution and dispersion stability were used to investigate whether the effects of TiO2 NPs depend on the state of agglomeration. TiO2 NPs were fully characterised in the previous European FP7 projects NanoTEST and NanoREG2. Uptake of TiO2 NPs was measured by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). TiO2 NPs were found in cytoplasmic vesicles, as well as close to the nucleus. The internalisation of TiO2 NPs did not depend on the state of agglomeration and dispersion used. The cytotoxicity of TiO2 NPs was measured by determining both the relative growth activity (RGA) and the plating efficiency (PE). There were no substantial effects of exposure time (24, 48 and 72 h), although a tendency to lower RGA at longer exposure was observed. No significant difference in PE values and no increases in the Hprt gene mutant frequency were found in exposed relative to unexposed cultures in spite of evidence of uptake of NPs by cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Genotoxicity of Aluminum and Aluminum Oxide Nanomaterials in Rats Following Oral Exposure
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(2), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10020305 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Due to several gaps remaining in the toxicological evaluation of nanomaterials (NMs), consumers and public health agencies have shown increasing concern for human health protection. In addition to aluminum (Al) microparticles, Al-containing nanomaterials (Al NMs) have been applied by food industry as additives [...] Read more.
Due to several gaps remaining in the toxicological evaluation of nanomaterials (NMs), consumers and public health agencies have shown increasing concern for human health protection. In addition to aluminum (Al) microparticles, Al-containing nanomaterials (Al NMs) have been applied by food industry as additives and contact materials. Due to the limited amount of literature on the toxicity of Al NMs, this study aimed to evaluate the in vivo genotoxic potential of Al0 and Al2O3 NMs after acute oral exposure. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were administered three successive gavages at 6, 12.5 and 25 mg/kg bw. A comparison with AlCl3 was done in order to assess the potential effect of dissolution into Al ions. Both DNA strand breaks and oxidative DNA damage were investigated in six organs/tissues (duodenum, liver, kidney, spleen, blood and bone marrow) with the alkaline and the Fpg-modified comet assays. Concomitantly, chromosomal damage was investigated in bone marrow and colon with the micronucleus assay. The comet assay only showed DNA damage with Al2O3 NMs in bone marrow (BM), while AlCl3 induced slight but non-significant oxidative DNA damage in blood. No increase of chromosomal mutations was observed after treatment with the two Al MNs either in the BM or in the colons of rats. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
ToxTracker Reporter Cell Lines as a Tool for Mechanism-Based (Geno)Toxicity Screening of Nanoparticles—Metals, Oxides and Quantum Dots
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(1), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10010110 - 06 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The increased use of nanoparticles (NPs) requires efficient testing of their potential toxic effects. A promising approach is to use reporter cell lines to quickly assess the activation of cellular stress response pathways. This study aimed to use the ToxTracker reporter cell lines [...] Read more.
The increased use of nanoparticles (NPs) requires efficient testing of their potential toxic effects. A promising approach is to use reporter cell lines to quickly assess the activation of cellular stress response pathways. This study aimed to use the ToxTracker reporter cell lines to investigate (geno)toxicity of various metal- or metal oxide NPs and draw general conclusions on NP-induced effects, in combination with our previous findings. The NPs tested in this study (n = 18) also included quantum dots (QDs) in different sizes. The results showed a large variation in cytotoxicity of the NPs tested. Furthermore, whereas many induced oxidative stress only few activated reporters related to DNA damage. NPs of manganese (Mn and Mn3O4) induced the most remarkable ToxTracker response with activation of reporters for oxidative stress, DNA damage, protein unfolding and p53-related stress. The QDs (CdTe) were highly toxic showing clearly size-dependent effects and calculations suggest surface area as the most relevant dose metric. Of all NPs investigated in this and previous studies the following induce the DNA damage reporter; CuO, Co, CoO, CdTe QDs, Mn, Mn3O4, V2O5, and welding NPs. We suggest that these NPs are of particular concern when considering genotoxicity induced by metal- and metal oxide NPs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
NPs-TiO2 and Lincomycin Coexposure Induces DNA Damage in Cultured Human Amniotic Cells
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(11), 1511; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9111511 - 23 Oct 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (NPs-TiO2 or TiO2-NPs) have been employed in many commercial products such as medicines, foods and cosmetics. TiO2-NPs are able to carry antibiotics to target cells enhancing the antimicrobial efficiency; so that these nanoparticles are generally [...] Read more.
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (NPs-TiO2 or TiO2-NPs) have been employed in many commercial products such as medicines, foods and cosmetics. TiO2-NPs are able to carry antibiotics to target cells enhancing the antimicrobial efficiency; so that these nanoparticles are generally used in antibiotic capsules, like lincomycin, added as a dye. Lincomycin is usually used to treat pregnancy bacterial vaginosis and its combination with TiO2-NPs arises questions on the potential effects on fetus health. This study investigated the potential impact of TiO2-NPs and lincomycin co-exposure on human amniocytes in vitro. Cytotoxicity was evaluated with trypan blue vitality test, while genotoxic damage was performed by Comet Test, Diffusion Assay and RAPD-PCR for 48 and 72 exposure hours. Lincomycin exposure produced no genotoxic effects on amniotic cells, instead, the TiO2-NPs exposure induced genotoxicity. TiO2-NPs and lincomycin co-exposure caused significant increase of DNA fragmentation, apoptosis and DNA damage in amniocytes starting from 48 exposure hours. These results contribute to monitor the use of TiO2-NPs combined with drugs in medical application. The potential impact of antibiotics with TiO2-NPs during pregnancy could be associated with adverse effects on embryo DNA. The use of nanomaterials in drugs formulation should be strictly controlled in order to minimize risks. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Comet Assay as a Tool to Detect the Genotoxic Potential of Nanomaterials
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(10), 1385; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9101385 - 27 Sep 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
The interesting physicochemical characteristics of nanomaterials (NMs) has brought about their increasing use and, consequently, their increasing presence in the environment. As emergent contaminants, there is an urgent need for new data about their potential side-effects on human health. Among their potential effects, [...] Read more.
The interesting physicochemical characteristics of nanomaterials (NMs) has brought about their increasing use and, consequently, their increasing presence in the environment. As emergent contaminants, there is an urgent need for new data about their potential side-effects on human health. Among their potential effects, the potential for DNA damage is of paramount relevance. Thus, in the context of the EU project NANoREG, the establishment of common robust protocols for detecting genotoxicity of NMs became an important aim. One of the developed protocols refers to the use of the comet assay, as a tool to detect the induction of DNA strand breaks. In this study, eight different NMs—TiO2NP (2), SiO2NP (2), ZnONP, CeO2NP, AgNP, and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT)—were tested using two different human lung epithelial cell lines (A549 and BEAS-2B). The comet assay was carried out with and without the use of the formamidopyrimidine glycosylase (FPG) enzyme to detect the induction of oxidatively damaged DNA bases. As a high throughput approach, we have used GelBond films (GBF) instead of glass slides, allowing the fitting of 48 microgels on the same GBF. The results confirmed the suitability of the comet assay as a powerful tool to detect the genotoxic potential of NMs. Specifically, our results indicate that most of the selected nanomaterials showed mild to significant genotoxic effects, at least in the A549 cell line, reflecting the relevance of the cell line used to determine the genotoxic ability of a defined NM. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Genotoxicity of Polystyrene Nanoparticles on the Human Fibroblast Hs27 Cell Line
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(9), 1299; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9091299 - 11 Sep 2019
Cited by 18
Abstract
Several studies have provided information on environmental nanoplastic particles/debris, but the in vitro cyto-genotoxicity is still insufficiently characterized. The aim of this study is to analyze the effects of polystyrene nanoparticles (PNPs) in the Hs27 cell line. The viability of Hs27 cells was [...] Read more.
Several studies have provided information on environmental nanoplastic particles/debris, but the in vitro cyto-genotoxicity is still insufficiently characterized. The aim of this study is to analyze the effects of polystyrene nanoparticles (PNPs) in the Hs27 cell line. The viability of Hs27 cells was determined following exposure at different time windows and PNP concentrations. The genotoxic effects of the PNPs were evaluated by the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay after exposure to PNPs. We performed ROS analysis on HS27 cells to detect reactive oxygen species at different times and treatments in the presence of PNPs alone and PNPs added to the Crocus sativus L. extract. The different parameters of the CBMN test showed DNA damage, resulting in the increased formation of micronuclei and nuclear buds. We noted a greater increase in ROS production in the short treatment times, in contrast, PNPs added to Crocus sativus extract showed the ability to reduce ROS production. Finally, the SEM-EDX analysis showed a three-dimensional structure of the PNPs with an elemental composition given by C and O. This work defines PNP toxicity resulting in DNA damage and underlines the emerging problem of polystyrene nanoparticles, which extends transversely from the environment to humans; further studies are needed to clarify the internalization process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Analysis of the Effects of ITER-Like Tungsten Nanoparticles: Cytotoxicity and Epigenotoxicity in BEAS-2B Cells
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(9), 1233; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9091233 - 30 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Tungsten was chosen as a wall component to interact with the plasma generated by the International Thermonuclear Experimental fusion Reactor (ITER). Nevertheless, during plasma operation tritiated tungsten nanoparticles (W-NPs) will be formed and potentially released into the environment following a Loss-Of-Vacuum-Accident, causing occupational [...] Read more.
Tungsten was chosen as a wall component to interact with the plasma generated by the International Thermonuclear Experimental fusion Reactor (ITER). Nevertheless, during plasma operation tritiated tungsten nanoparticles (W-NPs) will be formed and potentially released into the environment following a Loss-Of-Vacuum-Accident, causing occupational or accidental exposure. We therefore investigated, in the bronchial human-derived BEAS-2B cell line, the cytotoxic and epigenotoxic effects of two types of ITER-like W-NPs (plasma sputtering or laser ablation), in their pristine, hydrogenated, and tritiated forms. Long exposures (24 h) induced significant cytotoxicity, especially for the hydrogenated ones. Plasma W-NPs impaired cytostasis more severely than the laser ones and both types and forms of W-NPs induced significant micronuclei formation, as shown by cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay. Single DNA strand breaks, potentially triggered by oxidative stress, occurred upon exposure to W-NPs and independently of their form, as observed by alkaline comet assay. After 24 h it was shown that more than 50% of W was dissolved via oxidative dissolution. Overall, our results indicate that W-NPs can affect the in vitro viability of BEAS-2B cells and induce epigenotoxic alterations. We could not observe significant differences between plasma and laser W-NPs so their toxicity might not be triggered by the synthesis method. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Reduction of Graphene Oxide Mitigates Its In Vivo Genotoxicity Toward Xenopus laevis Tadpoles
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(4), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040584 - 09 Apr 2019
Cited by 12
Abstract
The worldwide increase of graphene family materials raises the question of the potential consequences resulting from their release in the environment and future consequences on ecosystem health, especially in the aquatic environment in which they are likely to accumulate. Thus, there is a [...] Read more.
The worldwide increase of graphene family materials raises the question of the potential consequences resulting from their release in the environment and future consequences on ecosystem health, especially in the aquatic environment in which they are likely to accumulate. Thus, there is a need to evaluate the biological and ecological risk but also to find innovative solutions leading to the production of safer materials. This work focuses on the evaluation of functional group-safety relationships regarding to graphene oxide (GO) in vivo genotoxic potential toward X. laevis tadpoles. For this purpose, thermal treatments in H2 atmosphere were applied to produce reduced graphene oxide (rGOs) with different surface group compositions. Analysis performed indicated that GO induced disturbances in erythrocyte cell cycle leading to accumulation of cells in G0/G1 phase. Significant genotoxicity due to oxidative stress was observed in larvae exposed to low GO concentration (0.1 mg·L−1). Reduction of GO at 200 °C and 1000 °C produced a material that was no longer genotoxic at low concentrations. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis indicated that epoxide groups may constitute a good candidate to explain the genotoxic potential of the most oxidized form of the material. Thermal reduction of GO may constitute an appropriate “safer-by-design” strategy for the development of a safer material for environment. Full article
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