Non Animal Testing Database

Polymer chip for developmental nanoparticle toxicity studies

Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, St. Gallen, Switzerland
The design of safe and effective nanoparticles (NPs) for commercial and medical applications requires a profound understanding of NP translocation and their effects on biological barriers. To gain mechanistic insights, physiologically relevant and accurate human in vitro bio-barrier models are indispensable. However, current transfer models largely rely on artificial porous polymer membranes for the cultivation of cells, which do not provide a close mimic of the natural basal membrane and intrinsically provide limited permeability for NPs. In this study, electrospinning is exploited to develop thin chitosan/polyethene oxide (PEO) membranes with high porosity and nanofibrous morphology for more predictive NP transfer studies. The nanofiber membranes allow the cultivation of a tight and functional placental monolayer (human BeWo trophoblasts). Translocation studies with differently sized molecules and NPs across empty and cell-containing membranes reveal a considerably enhanced permeability compared to commercial microporous membranes. Importantly, the transfer data of NPs in this study are highly similar to data from ex vivo perfusion studies of intact human placental tissue. Therefore, the newly developed membranes may decisively contribute to establishing physiologically relevant in vitro bio-barrier transfer models with superior permeability for a wide range of molecules and particles.
Novel electrospun chitosan/PEO membranes for more predictive nanoparticle transport studies at biological barriers
Tina Buerki-Thurnherr
Added on: 12-02-2022
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