Keywords: carbon nanotubes, CNT, nanoparticles, genotoxicity, comet assays, micronucleus, human lymphocytes, nanotechnology, environmental health, occupational health, health hazards
Genotoxicity assays analysis for carbon nanotubes: friends or foes? Preliminary results on human peripheral leukocytes
The literature is full of information on the biological effects, both in vitro and in vivo, of Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) and almost all the data published are in agreement on the toxicity related to physicochemical properties. The gap in the knowledge of the effects of CNTs on biological systems is instead evident when approaching the damage induced to DNA by CNTs. In fact, genotoxicity data is still missing. Is this due to a lack of interest in this field of research or it is triggered by the fact that standard procedures for genotoxicity assays are still to come for CNTs? Actually, the second question seems to be the more appropriate, but also for science, 'in media stat virtus' remains valid. This brief review, including some preliminary results on human peripheral leukocytes, will try to highlight this problem as seen from the genotoxicological point of view.