Assessment of Toxicity of Nanoparticles Using Insects as Biological Models

  • Yan Zhou
  • Yan Chen
  • Aracely Rocha
  • Carlos J. Sanchez
  • Hong LiangEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2118)


Nanomaterials have become increasingly important in medicine, manufacturing, and consumer products. A fundamental understanding of the effects of nanoparticles (NPs) and their interactions with biomolecules and organismal systems has yet to be achieved. In this chapter, we firstly provide a brief review of the interactions between nanoparticles and biological systems. We then provide an example by describing a novel method to assess the effects of NPs on biological systems, using insects as a model. Nanoparticles were injected into the central nervous system of the discoid cockroach (Blaberus discoidalis). It was found that insects became hyperactive compared to negative control (water injections). Our method could provide a generic method of assessing nanoparticles toxicity.

Key words

Nanomaterials Toxicity Insects Nervous system Magnetic nanoparticles Cockroach walking distance 



The manuscript was edited by Mikhail Soloviev. This work was partially sponsored by the National Science Foundation (0515930), Texas Engineering Experimental Station, and the Texas A&M University. Assistance provided by Drs. Brad Vinson, Jorge Gonzelez, and Subrata Kundu is greatly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yan Zhou
    • 1
  • Yan Chen
    • 1
  • Aracely Rocha
    • 1
  • Carlos J. Sanchez
    • 1
  • Hong Liang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Materials Science and Mechanical EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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