Carbon Nanotubes as an Emerging Risk for Environmental and Occupational Lung Diseases

Thursday, January 20, 2011

1:15 pm to 2:15 pm
125 Hudson Hall, Duke University


James C. Bonner

James C. Bonner, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
North Carolina State University
Environmental and Molecular Toxicology

Abstract: Nanotechnology holds the promise of revolutionizing our society, bringing numerous beneficial innovations to improve structural materials, electronics, energy, and medicine. However, accumulating evidence suggests that engineered nanoparticles may exert adverse effects on the lung and other organ systems. This presentation begins with a brief overview of the potential risks of engineered nanoparticles on the respiratory system, followed by an in depth view of carbon nanotubes and evidence in rodents that these engineered nanomaterials, once inhaled, have a multitude of effects including exacerbation of allergic asthma, pulmonary fibrogenesis, and immune reactions at the mesothelial lining surrounding the lungs. New cross-disciplinary activities between the Department of Toxicology and the Department of Engineering at NC State University will be discussed that are aimed at modifying the surface chemistry of carbon nanotubes to mitigate toxic responses in the respiratory system.