The investigation of the effects of nanoparticles on erythrocytes and leukocytes
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: Particulate air pollution has long been associated with respiratory and cardiac impairment, however it is still not fully understood how the inflammatory and permeability changes seen in the lungs after particulate exposure are manifested systemically in the blood. The present study was designed to explore the effects that nanoparticles, specifically Cab-O-Sil, have on the blood with the aim of establishing the link between hazardous particulate matter and cardiovascular impairment. Methods: For the erythrocyte analysis, haemolysis was used as the marker for cellular injury. Purified erythrocytes were incubated with 0.3, 0.7 and 1.0mg/ml Cab-O-Sil/PBS suspension for 30, 60 and 120 minutes. Absorbance of the supernatant was measured via spectrophotometry. For the leukocyte investigation, leukocyte activation was used as the marker for leukocyte damage. Packed cells were incubated with 0.3 and 1.0 mg/ml Cab-O-Sil/PBS suspension for 15, 60 and 120 minutes. Total and activated cells counts were obtained through microscopy. Results: The results confirmed that Cab-O-Sil has detrimental effects on both erythrocytes and leukocytes. Significant erythrocyte haemolysis occurred only at 1.0mg/ml Cab-O-Sil; the percentage haemolysis for this concentration increased with time indicating that the effects of Cab-O-Sil on erythrocytes may be both dose-related and time-dependent. Leukocytes became morphologically altered when treated with two concentrations of Cab-O-Sil, as shown by increased levels of activation although the effects appear to be neither dose- nor time-related. Conclusion: The study indicates that Cab-O-Sil nanoparticles have a damaging influence on specific blood components which may result in impaired flow characteristics of these cells. It is therefore suggested that this may be the link between nanoparticles and associated cardiovascular impairment. However, further modified investigations are required to confirm these findings and, if proved, reveal the mechanisms by which nanoparticles are damaging to our health.
BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science
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