Confounding experimental considerations in nanogenotoxicology

Mutagenesis. 2009 Jul;24(4):285-93. doi: 10.1093/mutage/gep010. Epub 2009 Apr 7.


The development of novel nanomaterials with unique physico-chemical properties is increasing at a rapid rate, with potential applications across a broad range of manufacturing industries and consumer products. Nanomaterial safety is therefore becoming an increasingly contentious issue that has intensified over the past 4 years, and in response, a steady stream of studies focusing on nanotoxicology are emerging. However, it is becoming increasingly evident that nanomaterials cannot be treated in the same manner as chemical compounds with regards to their safety assessment, as their unique physico-chemical properties are also responsible for unexpected interactions with experimental components that generate misleading data-sets. In this report, we focus on nanomaterial interactions with colorimetric and fluorometric dyes, components of cell culture growth medium and genotoxicity assay components, and the resultant consequences on test systems are demonstrated. Thus, highlighting some of the potential confounding factors that need to be considered in order to ensure that in vitro genotoxicity assays report true biological impacts in response to nanomaterial exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colorimetry / methods
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fluorometry / methods
  • Humans
  • Mutagenicity Tests / methods*
  • Mutagens*
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Particle Size
  • Safety


  • Mutagens