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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2010;2010:3816-9. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2010.5627595.

Modeling the effects of nanoparticles on neuronal cells: from ionic channels to network dynamics.

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Computational Diagnostics and Biocybernetics Unit at Saarland University Hospital and Saarland University of Applied Sciences, Homburg/Saarbruecken, Germany.


Engineered nanoparticles (NPs) offer great application potential in various fields, for example the chemical industry, energy management or medical sciences. Nanoparticles are increasingly being incorporated into daily products. But what happens, if living organisms are exposed to those NPs? Their ability to move seemingly barrier-free in organic tissue could be both beneficial and harmful. Even though research concerning nanotoxicity has already begun, there are still many open questions to be addressed. In this report, we propose a computational model applying the steady-state Hodgkin-Huxley-equations and the Differential Evolution Algorithm for fitting the model to the data of patch-clamp measurements carried out by our group: Coated silvernanoparticles (Ag-Nano) in different concentrations were applied to single chromaffin cells while measuring the ionic currents in the whole-cell configuration. Compared to controls, significant differences in sodium-currents were observed after the application of NPs. Using the computational model, we could evaluate the parameters which model the change in behavior of neuronal cells due to the addition of Ag-Nano. This can ultimately give insight to underlying mechanisms. An integration to model the dynamic behavior of neuronal networks exposed to NP is easily conceivable using this technique.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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