The increasing use of nanotechnology in consumer products and medical applications underlies the importance of understanding its potential toxic effects to people and the environment. Herein are described methods and assays to predict and evaluate the cellular effects of nanomaterial exposure. Exposing cells to nanomaterials at cytotoxic doses induces cell cycle arrest and increases apoptosis/necrosis, activates genes involved in cellular transport, metabolism, cell cycle regulation, and stress response. Certain nanomaterials induce genes indicative of a strong immune and inflammatory response within skin fibroblasts. Furthermore, the described multiwall carbon nanoonions (MWCNOs) can be used as a therapeutic in the treatment of cancer due to its cytotoxicity.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT
This invention was made during work supported by NIH Grant R1CA95393-01, DOD BCRP BC045345 Grant, DARPA, UCSF Prostate Cancer SPORE award (NIH Grant P50 CA89520), by a DOE LDRD grant, and by NIH P50 Grant CA112970. This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy, at the University of California/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract No. W-7405-Eng-48, and University of California/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, under Contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098, now Contract No. DE-AC05-CH11231. The government has certain rights in this invention.