The Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology

Genotoxicity of Metal Microparticles & Nanoparticles

Genotoxicity is the ability of an agent to induce DNA damage. It is an important aspect of understanding the risk of exposure to a chemical for its ability to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. Metal particles pose significant threats to human health at both the micro and nano sizes. Microparticles are known to be inhaled into the lung and deposit at branching points in the airways. Nanoparticles are likely to penetrate even further into the lungs, but the distribution of these materials in the body is poorly understood.

In our studies of the genotoxicity of metal microparticles and nanoparticles, we seek to understand how these agents damage DNA. We study genotoxicity by primarily considering two events: DNA double strand breaks and chromosome abnormalities. These assays are well-accepted by regulatory and advisory bodies as standard and essential genotoxicity measurements.

Current metal microparticles and nanoparticle genotoxicity projects in the Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicity include:

Vials of Chromium Compounds Chromium Studies


Depleted UraniumStudies

Photo Courtesy of NASA/JSC Lunar Dust Studies Arsenic Arsenic Studies
Nanoparticles Nanoparticle Studies Vial of Particulates  Ambient Particulate Matter