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Toxicity studies of nanogels using zebrafish

Nanotechnology is a discipline of science that has been explored, developed and exploited in the last few decades due to the benefits observed by using materials of such a small dimensions across all the science field, chemistry, biology, physics, mat science, engineering and MEDICINE One of the biggest concerns about using nanomaterials in medicine, most of all as drug delivery systems, is their toxicity, which is still a big question mark, both in human body and in the environment.

It is a common method the use of mammals (mice, rats and dogs) in order to explore new drug therapeutics due to their genome being similar to humans. However this is often very expensive and time consuming and there are often discrepancies between in vitro and in vivo models when mammalian models are used.

Zebrafish, proper name Danio Rerio, are vertebrate organisms that are growing interests in preclinical applications. Zebrafish embryos develop most of the major organs of mammals in < 1 week and they are small, transparent and able to absorb compound through the water, which are all characteristics that make them advantageous for compounds screening. Many assays are being developed to exploit the unique characteristics of the Zebrafish for pharmacological toxicology. Our faculty has established a fully equipped facility where Zebrafish are born and raised and our group has got expertise on Zebrafish assays. As such, this project aims to test the toxicological effects of the novel nanomaterials developed in our group, on the Zebrafish, in order to step towards the clinical applications of those materials.

Figure 1

Figure 1: A 40 hours post fertilization (40hpf) zebrafish was injected into the hart with a fluorescent probe. Picture has been taken by Judith Ray by mean of confocal microscope.

References
Y. Hoshino, H. Koide, T. Urakami, H. Kanazawa, T. Kodama, N. Oku and K. J. Shea, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2010, 132, 6644
S. Fent, C. J. Weibrod, A. Wirth-Heller and U. Pieles, Aquatic Toxicology, 2010, 02
D. Bechet, P. Couleaud, C. Frochot, M. L. Viriot, F. Guillemin and M. Barberi-Heyob, Trends in Biotechnology, 2008, 26, 612-621


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