Analytical and toxicological aspects of nanomaterials in different product groups: Challenges and opportunities
The widespread integration of engineered nanomaterials into consumer and industrial products creates new challenges and requires innovative approaches in terms of design, testing, reliability, and safety of nanotechnology. The aim of this review article is to give an overview of different product groups in which nanomaterials are present and outline their safety aspects for consumers. Here, release of nanomaterials and related analytical challenges and solutions as well as toxicological considerations, such as dose-metrics, are discussed. Additionally, the utilization of engineered nanomaterials as pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals to deliver and release cargo molecules is covered. Furthermore, critical pathways for human exposure to nanomaterials, namely inhalation and ingestion, are discussed in the context of risk assessment. Analysis of NMs in food, innovative medicine or food contact materials is discussed. Specific focus is on the presence and release of nanomaterials, including whether nanomaterials can migrate from polymer nanocomposites used in food contact materials. With regard to the toxicology and toxicokinetics of nanomaterials, aspects of dose metrics of inhalation toxicity as well as ingestion toxicology and comparison between in vitro and in vivo conclusions are considered. The definition of dose descriptors to be applied in toxicological testing is emphasized. In relation to potential exposure from different products, opportunities arising from the use of advanced analytical techniques in more unique scenarios such as release of nanomaterials from medical devices such as orthopedic implants are addressed. Alongside higher product performance and complexity, further challenges regarding material characterization and safety, as well as acceptance by the general public are expected.