Research Article

Nano Research

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 405-413

In Vivo toxicity assessment of gold nanoparticles in Drosophila melanogaster

  • Pier Paolo PompaAffiliated withItalian Institute of Technology, Center for Bio-Molecular Nanotechnology Email author 
  • , Giuseppe VecchioAffiliated withItalian Institute of Technology, Center for Bio-Molecular Nanotechnology
  • , Antonio GaleoneAffiliated withItalian Institute of Technology, Center for Bio-Molecular Nanotechnology
  • , Virgilio BrunettiAffiliated withItalian Institute of Technology, Center for Bio-Molecular Nanotechnology
  • , Stefania SabellaAffiliated withItalian Institute of Technology, Center for Bio-Molecular Nanotechnology
  • , Gabriele MaioranoAffiliated withItalian Institute of Technology, Center for Bio-Molecular Nanotechnology
  • , Andrea FalquiAffiliated withItalian Institute of Technology, Central Research Laboratories
  • , Giovanni BertoniAffiliated withItalian Institute of Technology, Central Research Laboratories
  • , Roberto CingolaniAffiliated withItalian Institute of Technology, Center for Bio-Molecular NanotechnologyItalian Institute of Technology, Central Research Laboratories

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

The growing use of nanomaterials in commercial goods and novel technologies is generating increasing questions about possible risks for human health and environment, due to the lack of an in-depth assessment of their potential toxicity. In this context, we investigated the effects of citrate-capped gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) on the model system Drosophila melanogaster upon ingestion. We observed a significant in vivo toxicity of AuNPs, which elicited clear adverse effects in treated organisms, such as a strong reduction of their life span and fertility, presence of DNA fragmentation, as well as a significant overexpression of the stress proteins. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated the localization of the nanoparticles in tissues of Drosophila. The experimental evidence of high in vivo toxicity of a nanoscale material, which is widely considered to be safe and biocompatible in its bulk form, opens up important questions in many fields, including nanomedicine, material science, health, drug delivery and risk assessment.
http://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1007%2Fs12274-011-0095-z/MediaObjects/12274_2011_95_Fig1_HTML.jpg

Keywords

Nanoparticles nanotoxicology gold in vivo studies