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      Reconstituting Organ-Level Lung Functions on a Chip

      , , , , ,
      Science
      American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

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          Abstract

          Here, we describe a biomimetic microsystem that reconstitutes the critical functional alveolar-capillary interface of the human lung. This bioinspired microdevice reproduces complex integrated organ-level responses to bacteria and inflammatory cytokines introduced into the alveolar space. In nanotoxicology studies, this lung mimic revealed that cyclic mechanical strain accentuates toxic and inflammatory responses of the lung to silica nanoparticles. Mechanical strain also enhances epithelial and endothelial uptake of nanoparticulates and stimulates their transport into the underlying microvascular channel. Similar effects of physiological breathing on nanoparticle absorption are observed in whole mouse lung. Mechanically active "organ-on-a-chip" microdevices that reconstitute tissue-tissue interfaces critical to organ function may therefore expand the capabilities of cell culture models and provide low-cost alternatives to animal and clinical studies for drug screening and toxicology applications.

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          Most cited references38

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          Toxic potential of materials at the nanolevel.

          Nanomaterials are engineered structures with at least one dimension of 100 nanometers or less. These materials are increasingly being used for commercial purposes such as fillers, opacifiers, catalysts, semiconductors, cosmetics, microelectronics, and drug carriers. Materials in this size range may approach the length scale at which some specific physical or chemical interactions with their environment can occur. As a result, their properties differ substantially from those bulk materials of the same composition, allowing them to perform exceptional feats of conductivity, reactivity, and optical sensitivity. Possible undesirable results of these capabilities are harmful interactions with biological systems and the environment, with the potential to generate toxicity. The establishment of principles and test procedures to ensure safe manufacture and use of nanomaterials in the marketplace is urgently required and achievable.
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            Nanotoxicology: An Emerging Discipline Evolving from Studies of Ultrafine Particles

            Although humans have been exposed to airborne nanosized particles (NSPs; < 100 nm) throughout their evolutionary stages, such exposure has increased dramatically over the last century due to anthropogenic sources. The rapidly developing field of nanotechnology is likely to become yet another source through inhalation, ingestion, skin uptake, and injection of engineered nanomaterials. Information about safety and potential hazards is urgently needed. Results of older bio-kinetic studies with NSPs and newer epidemiologic and toxicologic studies with airborne ultrafine particles can be viewed as the basis for the expanding field of nanotoxicology, which can be defined as safety evaluation of engineered nanostructures and nanodevices. Collectively, some emerging concepts of nanotoxicology can be identified from the results of these studies. When inhaled, specific sizes of NSPs are efficiently deposited by diffusional mechanisms in all regions of the respiratory tract. The small size facilitates uptake into cells and transcytosis across epithelial and endothelial cells into the blood and lymph circulation to reach potentially sensitive target sites such as bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen, and heart. Access to the central nervous system and ganglia via translocation along axons and dendrites of neurons has also been observed. NSPs penetrating the skin distribute via uptake into lymphatic channels. Endocytosis and biokinetics are largely dependent on NSP surface chemistry (coating) and in vivo surface modifications. The greater surface area per mass compared with larger-sized particles of the same chemistry renders NSPs more active biologically. This activity includes a potential for inflammatory and pro-oxidant, but also antioxidant, activity, which can explain early findings showing mixed results in terms of toxicity of NSPs to environmentally relevant species. Evidence of mitochondrial distribution and oxidative stress response after NSP endocytosis points to a need for basic research on their interactions with subcellular structures. Additional considerations for assessing safety of engineered NSPs include careful selections of appropriate and relevant doses/concentrations, the likelihood of increased effects in a compromised organism, and also the benefits of possible desirable effects. An interdisciplinary team approach (e.g., toxicology, materials science, medicine, molecular biology, and bioinformatics, to name a few) is mandatory for nanotoxicology research to arrive at an appropriate risk assessment.
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              Soft lithography in biology and biochemistry.

              Soft lithography, a set of techniques for microfabrication, is based on printing and molding using elastomeric stamps with the patterns of interest in basrelief. As a technique for fabricating microstructures for biological applications, soft lithography overcomes many of the shortcomings of photolithography. In particular, soft lithography offers the ability to control the molecular structure of surfaces and to pattern the complex molecules relevant to biology, to fabricate channel structures appropriate for microfluidics, and to pattern and manipulate cells. For the relatively large feature sizes used in biology (> or = 50 microns), production of prototype patterns and structures is convenient, inexpensive, and rapid. Self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiolates on gold are particularly easy to pattern by soft lithography, and they provide exquisite control over surface biochemistry.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science
                Science
                American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                0036-8075
                1095-9203
                June 24 2010
                June 25 2010
                June 24 2010
                June 25 2010
                : 328
                : 5986
                : 1662-1668
                Article
                10.1126/science.1188302
                8335790
                20576885
                60de0a6b-8201-4b27-a47d-ab7d9eeeb21c
                © 2010
                History

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