chapter  15
24 Pages

Nanomaterials and Human Health: Physicochemical Considerations

A size range of 1-100 nm is the primary defining characteristic of this class of particles. This size range confers properties similar to that of UFPs (ambient particles <0.1 µM), in addition to those of small molecule chemicals or bulk materials under the appropriate circumstances. Figure 15.1 displays size comparisons of ENPs relevant to ambient particles and microbes. The toxicological literature of ultrafine particulate matter provides a strong basis for principles

of nanotoxicology [5, 8]. Similarly, viruses are being exploited as scaffolds and templates for the development of nanomachines [9], drawing from the fields of virology and immunology. Large polypeptides (e.g., ATPase and ion channels) are within the size range of small nanoparticles, suggesting the possibility of interactions that are not common within chemical toxicology.