Ingestion of gallium phosphide nanowires has no adverse effect on Drosophila tissue function.

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Abstract

Engineered nanoparticles have been under increasing scrutiny in recent years. High aspect ratio nanoparticles such as carbon nanotubes and nanowires have raised safety concerns due to their geometrical similarity to asbestos fibers. III-V epitaxial semiconductor nanowires are expected to be utilized in devices such as LEDs and solar cells and will thus be available to the public. In addition, clean-room staff fabricating and characterizing the nanowires are at risk of exposure, emphasizing the importance of investigating their possible toxicity. Here we investigated the effects of gallium phosphide nanowires on the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Drosophila larvae and/or adults were exposed to gallium phosphide nanowires by ingestion with food. The toxicity and tissue interaction of the nanowires was evaluated by investigating tissue distribution, activation of immune response, genome-wide gene expression, life span, fecundity and somatic mutation rates. Our results show that gallium phosphide nanowires applied through the diet are not taken up into Drosophila tissues, do not elicit a measurable immune response or changes in genome-wide gene expression and do not significantly affect life span or somatic mutation rate.

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  • Nano Technology
Original languageEnglish
Article number285101
JournalNanotechnology
Volume24
Issue number28
StatePublished - 2013
Peer-reviewedYes