NANOMATERIALS

A nano dagger to the heart

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Science  11 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6313, pp. 717-718
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6313.717-d

Nanomaterials consist of nanometer-scale molecules or particles, which can have unusual mechanical, electrical, or optical properties. Industrial-scale fabrication of such material requires an assessment of their potential toxicity. Zhu et al. use molecular modeling and intracellular imaging to show that long (high aspect ratio), stiff carbon nanotubes can damage lysosome vesicle membranes. Persistent contact with the tip of the tube results in loss of membrane lipids and lysosome membrane instability, potentially activating the cell death pathway.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 10.1073/pnas.1605030113 (2016).

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