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Sci Total Environ. 2009 Dec 20;408(2):439-43. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.10.008. Epub 2009 Oct 29.

Inhalation method for delivery of nanoparticles to the Drosophila respiratory system for toxicity testing.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH 45469-2320, USA.


The growth of the nanotechnology industry and subsequent proliferation of nanoparticle types present the need to rapidly assess nanoparticle toxicity. We present a novel, simple and cost-effective nebulizer-based method to deliver nanoparticles to the Drosophila melanogaster respiratory system, for the purpose of toxicity testing. FluoSpheres, silver, and CdSe/ZnS nanoparticles of different sizes were effectively aerosolized, showing the system is capable of functioning with a wide range of nanoparticle types and sizes. Red fluorescent CdSe/ZnS nanoparticles were successfully delivered to the fly respiratory system, as visualized by fluorescent microscopy. Silver coated and uncoated nanoparticles were delivered in a toxicity test, and induced Hsp70 expression in flies, confirming the utility of this model in toxicity testing. This is the first method developed capable of such delivery, provides the advantage of the Drosophila health model, and can serve as a link between tissue culture and more expensive mammalian models in a tiered toxicity testing strategy.

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