Carbon nanotubes introduced into the abdominal cavity of mice show asbestos-like pathogenicity in a pilot study

Craig A. Poland, Rodger Duffin, Ian Kinloch, Andrew Maynard, William A. H. Wallace, Anthony Seaton, Vicki Stone, Simon Brown, William MacNee, Ken Donaldson

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

    Abstract

    Carbon nanotubes(1) have distinctive characteristics(2), but their needle-like fibre shape has been compared to asbestos(3), raising concerns that widespread use of carbon nanotubes may lead to mesothelioma, cancer of the lining of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos(4). Here we show that exposing the mesothelial lining of the body cavity of mice, as a surrogate for the mesothelial lining of the chest cavity, to long multiwalled carbon nanotubes results in asbestos-like, length-dependent, pathogenic behaviour. This includes inflammation and the formation of lesions known as granulomas. This is of considerable importance, because research and business communities continue to invest heavily in carbon nanotubes for a wide range of products(5) under the assumption that they are no more hazardous than graphite. Our results suggest the need for further research and great caution before introducing such products into the market if long-term harm is to be avoided.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)423-428
    Number of pages6
    JournalNature Nanotechnology
    Volume3
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008

    Cite this

    Poland, C. A., Duffin, R., Kinloch, I., Maynard, A., Wallace, W. A. H., Seaton, A., Stone, V., Brown, S., MacNee, W., & Donaldson, K. (2008). Carbon nanotubes introduced into the abdominal cavity of mice show asbestos-like pathogenicity in a pilot study. Nature Nanotechnology, 3(7), 423-428. https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2008.111