InPharma reported that the European Commission, the biotech industry and Chinese government are funding a project aimed at safety in nanobiotechnology. As Philips and GE Healthcare are working on the development of nanomaterials for use in patients, a portion of the $15.6 million will be directed towards studies of the in vitro and in vivo toxicology of nanomaterials, and also whether the size of the particles affects their toxicity, in the same way that asbestos is safe when encountered in a sheet, but causes cancer when inhaled as a dust.

Last year, one study was reported showing that inhaled nano-sized particles accumulate in the nasal cavities, lungs and brains of rats, raising concerns that this build-up could lead to harmful inflammation and a risk of brain damage or other central nervous system disorders. And it is known that carbon “buckyballs,” a spherical form of the element that has properties attractive for drug delivery, are toxic to cells.  See the article here.

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