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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


OOSTHUIZEN, Maria Aletta; PRETORIUS, Etheresia; OBERHOLZER, Hester Magdalena  and  VAN DER SPUY, Wendy Jeannette. Ultrastructural Analyses of Platelets and Fibrin Networks in BALB/c Mice after Inhalation of Spherical and Rod-Shaped Titanium Nanoparticles . Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.4, pp.1263-1271. ISSN 0717-9502.

Engineered nanoparticles are designed to perform specific functions and therefore have specific properties that could potentially be harmful. Nanoparticles such as titanium dioxide have the potential to become transparent and are therefore widely used in cosmetic products and sunscreen. Research on the toxicity of nanoparticles is of utmost importance and numerous in vitro studies have shown that some of these particles could have adverse health effects. The current study aimed to investigate the in vivo effects of two different titanium nanoparticles at two different concentrations after inhalation by experimental BALB/c mice. This was done to determine whether these particles will cause an inflammatory reaction, visible as alterations in platelet and fibrin ultrastructure. Mice were divided into five experimental groups comprising of a control group, high and low concentration groups exposed to the spherical-shaped particles, as well as high and low concentration groups exposed to the rod-shaped particles. The ultrastructure of the fibrin networks and platelet aggregates of these experimental groups were investigated and compared to that of controls. Results indicated that the fibrin networks of the exposed animals have a net-like covering over the major fibres, typical to that found in animals with inflammation. It can therefore be concluded that the nanoparticles used in this study may have the potential to cause an inflammatory reaction, affecting the haemostatic physiology.

Keywords : Nanoparticles; TiO2; Platelets; Fibrin; BALB/c murine model.

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