Topical Collection "Toxicity of Nanoparticles in the Lung: Environmental and Medical Aspects"


Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Eleonore Fröhlich

Center for Medical Research, Medical University of Graz, Stiftingtalstr 24, Graz A-8010, Austria
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +43-316-3857-3011
Fax: +43-316-3857-3009
Interests: biological and toxicological evaluation of nanoparticles; development of physiologically relevant in-vitro models; cytotoxicity of Nanoparticles

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the broad use of nanoparticles in many products, accumulation in the environment and increased exposure of humans may occur. Adverse effects of non-intentionally inhaled nanoparticles in humans may be caused by environmental exposure, at the workplace, and by exposure to medical products. The biocompatibility of nanoparticles has been intensely studied in vitro and in vivo over the last decade, and the role of the respiratory system as the most permeable and vulnerable portal of entry was confirmed. Nevertheless, action on the immune system, effects on repeated exposure, organ-specificity, etc., are not well known. Translation of experimental data to estimation of human risk is complicated by a lack of representative models and exposure conditions, inter-individual differences in exposure levels and in predisposing biological factors.

In addition to unintended toxicity, nanoparticles can be used to increase the efficacy of cytostatic drugs, mainly for the treatment of lung cancer. Better encapsulation of poorly-soluble drugs, delivery of small molecules, and enhanced permeability and retention effect increase anticancer action.

Similar nanoparticle properties, such as cellular accumulation, decreased clearance, and modulation of immune effects, are linked to undesired effects in the lung; however, the same effects that cause the undesired effects of environmental nanoparticles in the lung are exploited to increase efficacy of nanoparticles in medical treatments.

This Topical Collection will be dedicated to reactions of nanoparticles in the respiratory system. Toxic reactions to air-borne particles and medical particles as well as differences in reactions of the respiratory system compared to other organs are of interest. We welcome the submission of comprehensive/mini reviews, original research articles, and communications.

Prof. Dr. Eleonore Fröhlich
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • Environmental nanoparticles
  • Engineered nanoparticles
  • In-vitro models
  • Chronic effects
  • In silico modeling
  • Nano-based formulations
  • Mechanisms of nanotoxicity
  • Lung cancer treatment
  • Inhalation treatment

Published Papers (1 paper)


Open AccessCommunication Surface Charge-Dependent Cellular Uptake of Polystyrene Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(12), 1028;
Received: 27 October 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 December 2018 / Published: 10 December 2018
PDF Full-text (3224 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
The evaluation of the role of physicochemical properties in the toxicity of nanoparticles is important for the understanding of toxicity mechanisms and for controlling the behavior of nanoparticles. The surface charge of nanoparticles is suggested as one of the key parameters which decide [...] Read more.
The evaluation of the role of physicochemical properties in the toxicity of nanoparticles is important for the understanding of toxicity mechanisms and for controlling the behavior of nanoparticles. The surface charge of nanoparticles is suggested as one of the key parameters which decide their biological impact. In this study, we synthesized fluorophore-conjugated polystyrene nanoparticles (F-PLNPs), with seven different types of surface functional groups that were all based on an identical core, to evaluate the role of surface charge in the cellular uptake of nanoparticles. Phagocytic differentiated THP-1 cells or non-phagocytic A549 cells were incubated with F-PLNP for 4 h, and their cellular uptake was quantified by fluorescence intensity and confocal microscopy. The amount of internalized F-PLNPs showed a good positive correlation with the zeta potential of F-PLNPs in both cell lines (Pearson’s r = 0.7021 and 0.7852 for zeta potential vs. cellular uptake in THP-1 cells and nonphagocytic A549 cells, respectively). This result implies that surface charge is the major parameter determining cellular uptake efficiency, although other factors such as aggregation/agglomeration, protein corona formation, and compositional elements can also influence the cellular uptake partly or indirectly. Full article

Graphical abstract

Nanomaterials EISSN 2079-4991 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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