Due to their morphological and physicochemical properties, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) enhance the structural properties of several materials and are produced in great volumes. The production and the manufacturing of CNTs-incorporated products can lead to the potential environmental release of CNTs. For these reasons, CNTs can represent a serious concern for human health. Humans are exposed to nanoparticles through inhalation, ingestion and skin uptake. After their entrance, the particles can reach the Central Nervous System (CNS) through three different pathways: the systemic, olfactory and trigeminal pathways. In the first, through systemic blood circulation, nanoparticles cross both the blood-brain and blood-spinal cord barriers, which are highly selective semipermeable barriers that protect the CNS compartments. The second is the step from the nose to brain route and occurs along axons and via nerve bundles that cross the cribriform plate to the olfactory bulb. In the third, the compounds diffuse through the nasal cavity mucosa to reach the branches of the trigeminal nerve in the olfactory and respiratory regions, and they reach brain stem via axonal transport. After their entrance, CNTs reach the CNS where they may cause cytotoxicity of selected neurons in several CNS regions, impairing molecular pathways and contributing to the onset and progression of chronic brain inflammation, microglia activation and white matter abnormalities with an increased risk for autism spectrum disorders, lower IQ in children, neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. The large surface area to mass ratio of CNTs greatly increases surface reactivity. Despite this property considerable contributes to their toxicological profile in biological systems, also makes CNTs very attractive in the medical field, where they can be used as carriers of bioactive molecules, contrast agents, biological platforms and for many other applications in medicine.

Carbon nanotubes and central nervous system: Environmental risks, toxicological aspects and future perspectives

La Maestra S.;Ceccarelli M.;
2019

Abstract

Due to their morphological and physicochemical properties, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) enhance the structural properties of several materials and are produced in great volumes. The production and the manufacturing of CNTs-incorporated products can lead to the potential environmental release of CNTs. For these reasons, CNTs can represent a serious concern for human health. Humans are exposed to nanoparticles through inhalation, ingestion and skin uptake. After their entrance, the particles can reach the Central Nervous System (CNS) through three different pathways: the systemic, olfactory and trigeminal pathways. In the first, through systemic blood circulation, nanoparticles cross both the blood-brain and blood-spinal cord barriers, which are highly selective semipermeable barriers that protect the CNS compartments. The second is the step from the nose to brain route and occurs along axons and via nerve bundles that cross the cribriform plate to the olfactory bulb. In the third, the compounds diffuse through the nasal cavity mucosa to reach the branches of the trigeminal nerve in the olfactory and respiratory regions, and they reach brain stem via axonal transport. After their entrance, CNTs reach the CNS where they may cause cytotoxicity of selected neurons in several CNS regions, impairing molecular pathways and contributing to the onset and progression of chronic brain inflammation, microglia activation and white matter abnormalities with an increased risk for autism spectrum disorders, lower IQ in children, neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. The large surface area to mass ratio of CNTs greatly increases surface reactivity. Despite this property considerable contributes to their toxicological profile in biological systems, also makes CNTs very attractive in the medical field, where they can be used as carriers of bioactive molecules, contrast agents, biological platforms and for many other applications in medicine.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/986952
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