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Low-dose, Chronic Exposure to Silver Nanoparticles Causes Mild Mitochondrial Alterations in the Liver of Sprague-Dawley Rat

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Final rept. 28 Feb 2013-27 Feb 2014

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Nanoparticles NPs are, by definition, materials that range in size from 1 to 100 nanometers, in at least one axis, which allows for a broad selection of shapes and sizes, from spheres to rods, tubes and more intricate shapes. The use of NPs has been steadily increasing worldwide due to their fascinating and particular physicochemical properties that wildly differ from the ones presented by the same materials, in a larger scale. Ranging from particular optic alterations to thermal and electric conductance and biological-affecting altered characteristics, these properties have been extensively studied and utilized in common situations in everyday life, from personal hygiene items, medical applications and industry processes. These derive from their particular size, shape, crystallinity, surface charge and possible coating, elemental composition and solubility. However, there is growing concern that the accumulation of NPs in an larger organism and on the environment could lead to pernicious effects, too soon to be fully detected and understood, but too late to prevent them. These effects might be consequence of the same properties that make them so attractive in the first place. As such, the importance of studying what effects might arise from this current unchecked use of NP cannot be stressed enough. From all types and shapes of NPs, silver NPs AgNPs are by far the most ubiquitous type of nanomaterial. Probably the best-known and more ancient use of silver other than jewelry derives from its antimicrobial properties, making AgNPs a most excellent mean of disinfection and sterilization. The results of the study described in this report show that even a low-dose, chronic exposure to AgNPs can cause severe impediments to normal mitochondrial function, at least at a hepatic level. Despite no alterations were found in heart and kidney levels, and despite the fact that the alterations found in liver mitochondria did not appear to compromise ATP generation, it is not

Subject Categories:

  • Biochemistry
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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