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Small. 2014 Jul 9;10(13):2721-34. doi: 10.1002/smll.201303359. Epub 2014 Mar 7.

Lab-on-a-chip-based high-throughput screening of the genotoxicity of engineered nanomaterials.

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Mawson Institute, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, SA, 5095, Australia.


The continuous increasing of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in our environment, their combinatorial diversity, and the associated genotoxic risks, highlight the urgent need to better define the possible toxicological effects of ENMs. In this context, we present a new high-throughput screening (HTS) platform based on the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay, lab-on-chip cell sorting, and automated image analysis. This HTS platform has been successfully applied to the evaluation of the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and silica nanoparticles (SiO2NPs). In particular, our results demonstrate the high cyto- and genotoxicity induced by AgNPs and the biocompatibility of SiO2NPs, in primary human lymphocytes. Moreover, our data reveal that the toxic effects are also dependent on size, surface coating, and surface charge. Most importantly, our HTS platform shows that AgNP-induced genotoxicity is lymphocyte sub-type dependent and is particularly pronounced in CD2+ and CD4+ cells.


genotoxicity; high throughput screening; nanomaterials; on-chip cell sorting; primary human cells

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