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A semi‐empirical model for transport of inorganic nanoparticles across a lipid bilayer: Implications for uptake by living cells

Nolte, Tom M., Kettler, Katja, Meesters, Johannes A.J., Hendriks, A. Jan, van de Meent, Dik
Environmental toxicology and chemistry 2015 v.34 no.3 pp. 488-496
ionic strength, mathematical models, nanoparticles, organic matter, pH, risk assessment, toxicity, variance
Due to increasing application, release of nanoparticles (NPs) and nanomaterials into the environment becomes likely. Knowledge about NP uptake in organisms is crucial for risk assessment including estimations on the behavior of NPs based on their physicochemical properties. In the present study, the authors have applied current scientific knowledge to construct a mathematical model, which estimates the transport of NPs through a model biological membrane. The semi‐empirical model developed showed all parameters studied to substantially affect the agglomeration of the NPs in suspension, thereby also affecting passive transport. The authors quantified the effects of pH, ionic strength, organic matter concentration of medium, and NP size of several inorganic NPs on the permeation through the lipid membrane. Model outcomes and experimental results described in literature were strongly correlated for several metal oxide NPs. With caution, the model may be used to explain some of the existing variance in nano‐uptake and toxicity experiments. Environ Toxicol Chem 2015;34:488–496. © 2014 SETAC