Graphene: New Risk to the Respiratory System

  • Author: ChemistryViews
  • Published: 06 March 2012
  • Copyright: WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: ACSNano/ACS
thumbnail image: Graphene: New Risk to the Respiratory System

Ken Donaldson and colleagues, University of Edinburgh, UK, investigated the potential health risks of inhaling graphene particles. They used graphene nanoplatelets (GPs) up to 25 µm which are commercially available and consist of several sheets of graphene to test how inhaled from a solution as it evaporates they affected the lungs of mice. Although the particles look big, because they're flat and plate-like, they act like they're smaller. The unusual aerodynamic properties of the CPs allow them to get as deep into the lungs as spherical particles a tenth of the diameter.

Once in the lungs, the immune response is ineffective at removing them. Particles would normally be engulfed and cleared by macrophages, but the GPs' size means they cannot be completely engulfed by a single macrophage cell. This causes inflammation and potentially has more serious implications for long term exposure.

The reseachers suggest that nanoplatelets pose a novel nanohazard and structuretoxicity relationship in nanoparticle toxicology.
They suggest that potential risks to humans from PPexposure could be minimized by manufacturing platelets small enough to be phagocytosed by macrophages.

Article Views: 4098

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from, please contact us first for permission and consult our permission guidance prior to making your request

Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on YouTube Follow on LinkedIn Follow on Instagram RSS Sign up for newsletters

Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH