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Nanotoxicology. 2015 May;9(3):396-403. doi: 10.3109/17435390.2014.940405. Epub 2014 Jul 22.

Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism to study nanotoxicity.

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Department of Anatomy, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine , National University of Singapore , Singapore .


Drosophila melanogaster has been used as an in vivo model organism for the study of genetics and development since 100 years ago. Recently, the fruit fly Drosophila was also developed as an in vivo model organism for toxicology studies, in particular, the field of nanotoxicity. The incorporation of nanomaterials into consumer and biomedical products is a cause for concern as nanomaterials are often associated with toxicity in many in vitro studies. In vivo animal studies of the toxicity of nanomaterials with rodents and other mammals are, however, limited due to high operational cost and ethical objections. Hence, Drosophila, a genetically tractable organism with distinct developmental stages and short life cycle, serves as an ideal organism to study nanomaterial-mediated toxicity. This review discusses the basic biology of Drosophila, the toxicity of nanomaterials, as well as how the Drosophila model can be used to study the toxicity of various types of nanomaterials.


Drosophila melanogaster; in vivo model organism; nanomaterials; toxicity

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