Nanotechnology is the set of techniques used to engineer, characterize, and produce materials that have at least one dimension within the nanoscale. These nanomaterials, or nanoobjects, include nanoparticles and nanotubes. As dictated by the laws of quantum physics, a size within the nanoscale results in unique physicochemical properties and distinctive behaviors. Nanotechnology has a host of applications in fields ranging from cosmetology to the industry and medicine. The production and use of nanomaterials are expanding at a brisk pace. However, concerns are emerging about the potential health effects of nanoparticles in the short and long terms. These concerns are rooted in data on the harmful health effects of micrometric airborne particulate matter. Conceivably, these adverse effects might be amplified when the particles are within the nanoscale. This article is a nonexhaustive overview of current data on the penetration, deposition, translocation, and elimination of inhaled nanoparticles and on the respiratory effects of metallic nanoparticles (with special attention to titanium dioxide) and carbon nanotubes. Both in vivo and in vitro studies consistently found biological effects of nanoparticles on the respiratory system, including oxidative stress generation, proinflammatory and prothrombotic effects, pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema, and DNA damage. Improved knowledge of the potential biological effects of nanoparticles is needed to guide preventive strategies for the workplace and/or general population if needed.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Nanomaterials, Nanoparticles, Nanotubes, Lung, Toxicity
| This article is the English translation of the following manuscript, which was originally published in French in Revue des Maladies Respiratoires. Please cite this article as: “Andujar P, Lanone S, Brochard P, Boczkowski J. Effets respiratoires des nanoparticules manufacturées. Rev Mal Respir 2009;26:625–37”.