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Nano-Safety Research Group

Specialists in the assessment of nanomaterial toxicity to human health and the environment


A summary of recent publications for ongoing and recently completed projects can be found below.

ITS NANO: Intelligent Testing Strategy for Engineered Nanomaterials

Development of alternatives to animal testing


  • Johnston HJ, Verdon R, Gillies S, Brown DM, Fernandes TF, Henry TB, Rossi AG, Tran L, Tucker C, Tyler CR, Stone V. (2017). Adoption of in vitro systems and zebrafish embryos as alternative models for reducing rodent use in assessments of immunological and oxidative stress responses to nanomaterials. Critical Reviews in Toxicology [In Press]
  • Burden N, Aschberger K, Chaudhry Q, Clift M, Fowler P, Johnston H, Landsiedel R, Rowland J, Stone V, Doak SH (2017). Aligning nanotoxicology with the 3Rs: What is needed to realise the short, medium and long-term opportunities? Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology [In Press]
  • Burden N, Aschberger K, Chaudhry Q, Clift M, Doak SH, Fowler P, Johnston H, Landsiedel R, Rowland J, Stone V (2016). The 3Rs as a framework to support a 21st century approach for nanosafety assessment. Nano Today 12; 10-13
  • Stone V, Johnston H, Balharry D, Gernand J, Gulumian M (2016). Approaches to Develop Alternative Testing Strategies to Inform Human Health Risk Assessment of Nanomaterials Risk Analysis 36(8):1538-50.
  • Ude VC, Brown DM, Viale L, Kanase N, Stone V, Johnston HJ (2017). Impact of copper oxide nanomaterials on differentiated and undifferentiated Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells; assessment of cytotoxicity, barrier integrity, cytokine production and nanomaterial penetration. Particle and Fibre Toxicology [In Press]

Use of nanomaterials as nanomedicines

ENPRA: Risk assessment of engineered nanoparticles

  • Kermanizadeh A, Gaiser BK, Hutchison GR, Stone V. (2012). An in vitro liver model – assessing oxidative stress and genotoxicity following exposure of hepatocytes to a panel of engineered nanoparticles. Particle and Fibre Toxicology 9(1):28
  • Kermanizadeh A, Gaiser BK, Ward MB, Stone V. (2012) Primary human hepatocytes vs. hepatic cell line – assessing their suitability for in vitro nanotoxicology. Nanotoxicology [Early Online access]
  • Kermanizadeh A, Gaiser BK, Ward MB, Stone V. (2012). Primary human hepatocytes versus hepatic cell line: assessing their suitability for in vitro nanotoxicology. Nanotoxicology. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Kermanizadeh A, Pojana G, Gaiser BK, Birkedal R, Bilanicova D, Wallin H, Jensen KA, Sellergen B, Hutchison GR, Marcomini A, Stone V. (2013). In vitro assessment of engineered nanomaterials using a hepatocyte cell line: cytotoxicity, pro-inflammatory cytokines and functional markers. Nanotoxicology 7:301-13.
  • Kermanizadeh A, Vranic S, Boland S, Moreau K, Baeza-Squiban A, Gaiser BK, Andrzejczuk LA,Stone V. (2013). An in vitro assessment of panel of engineered nanomaterials using a human renal cell line: cytotoxicity, pro-inflammatory response, oxidative stress and genotoxicity. BMC Nephrol.14:96.

InLiveTox: Toxicity of Ingested Nanoparticles

  • Gaiser BK, Hirn S, Kermanizadeh A, Kanase N, Fytianos K, Wenk A, Haberl N, Brunelli A, Kreyling WG, Stone V. (2013). Effects of silver nanoparticles on the liver and hepatocytes in vitro. Toxicol Sci 131:537-47.

The role of nanomaterial-protein interactions in determining toxicity

  • Johnston HBrown D, Kermanizadeh A, Gubbins E, Stone V. (2012). Investigating the relationship between nanomaterial hazard and physicochemical properties: Informing the exploitation of nanomaterials within therapeutic and diagnostic applications. J Control Release. 164:307-13
  • Brown, DM, Johnston H, Gubbins, E, and Stone V (2014a). Cytotoxicity and cytokine release in hepatocytes and macrophages exposed to gold nanoparticles - effect of biological dispersants. Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology 10; 3416-3429
  • Brown, DM, Kanase N, Gaiser B, Johnston H, Stone V (2014b).  Inflammation and gene expression in the rat lung after instillation of silica nanoparticles: effect of size, dispersion medium and particle surface charge.  Toxicol Lett  224; 147-156
  • Brown, DM, Varet J, Johnston H, Chrystie A, Stone V  (2015). Silica nanoparticles and biological dispersants: genotoxic effects on A549 lung epithelial cells.  J Nanopart Res 17; 410
  • Brown, D M, Gubbins, E., Johnston H, and Stone V (2014d). Serum enhanced cytokine responses of macrophages to silica and iron oxide particles and nanomaterials – a comparison of serum to lung lining fluid and albumin dispersants. J Appl Toxicol 34:1177-87

Adjuvant Effects of Nanomaterials

  • Prach M, Stone V, Proudfoot L. (2013). Zinc oxide nanoparticles and monocytes: impact of size, charge and solubility on activation status. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1;266(1):19-26

ENRHES: Engineered nanoparticle review of human and environmental safety

  • Johnston HJ, Hutchison G, Christensen FM, Peters S, Hankin S, Stone V (2010). A review of the in vivo and in vitro toxicity of silver and gold particulates: particle attributes and biological mechanisms responsible for the observed toxicity. Crit Rev Toxicol 40 (4) 328-46
  • Johnston HJ, Hutchison GR, Christensen FM, Peters S, Hankin S, Stone V (2009). Identification of the mechanisms that drive the toxicity of TiO(2) particulates: the contribution of physicochemical characteristics. Part Fibre Toxicol 6; 33
  • Johnston HJ, Hutchison GR, Christensen FM, Aschberger K, Stone V (2010). The biological mechanisms and physicochemical characteristics responsible for driving fullerene toxicity. Toxicol Sci 114 (2) 162-82.
  • Johnston HJ, Hutchison GR, Christensen FM, Peteres S, Hankin S, Aschberger K, Stone V(2010). A critical review of the biological mechanisms underlying the in vivo and in vitro toxicity of carbon nanotubes: The contribution of physico-chemical characteristics. Nanotoxicology 4(2): 207–246.
  • Christensen FM, Johnston HJ, Stone V, Aitken RJ, Hankin S, Peters S, Aschberger K. (2011). Nano-TiO2--feasibility and challenges for human health risk assessment based on open literature. Nanotoxicology. 5(2):110-24.
  • Aschberger K, Johnston HJ, Stone V, Aitken RJ, Hankin SM, Peters SA, Tran CL, Christensen FM. (2010). Review of carbon nanotubes toxicity and exposure--appraisal of human health risk assessment based on open literature. Crit Rev Toxicol. 40(9):759-90.
  • Aschberger K, Johnston HJStone V, Aitken RJ, Tran CL, Hankin SM, Peters SA, Christensen FM. (2010). Review of fullerene toxicity and exposure--appraisal of a human health risk assessment, based on open literature. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 58(3):455-73.
  • Christensen FM, Johnston HJ, Stone V, Aitken RJ, Hankin S, Peters S, Aschberger K. (2010). Nano-silver - feasibility and challenges for human health risk assessment based on open literature. Nanotoxicology. 4(3):284-95.

Response of macrophages to carbon nanotubes in vitro

  • Brown DM, Donaldson K, Stone V. Nuclear translocation of Nrf2 and expression of antioxidant defence genes in THP-1 cells exposed to carbon nanotubes. J. Biomed. Nanotech 2010 6: 1-10.
  • Brown DM, Kinloch IA, Bangert U, Windle AH, Walter DM, Walker GS, Scotchford CA, Donaldson K, Stone V. (2007). An in vitro study of the potential of carbon nanotubes and nanofibres to induce inflammatory mediators and frustrated phagocytosis. Carbon 45:1743–1756.

PARTICLE_RISK: Risk Assessment of exposure to particles

  • Johnston HJ, Semmler-Behnke M, Brown DM, Kreyling W, Tran L, Stone V. (2010). Evaluating the uptake and intracellular fate of polystyrene nanoparticles by primary and hepatocyte cell lines in vitro. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 242(1):66-78
  • Zuin S, Micheletti C, Critto A, Pojana G, Johnston H, Stone V, Tran L, Marcomini A. (2011). Weight of evidence approach for the relative hazard ranking of nanomaterials. Nanotoxicology. 5(3):445-58.
  • Johnston H, Pojana G, Zuin S, Jacobsen NR, Møller P, Loft S, Semmler-Behnke M, McGuiness C, Balharry D, Marcomini A, Wallin H, Kreyling W, Donaldson K, Tran L, Stone V. (2013). Engineered nanomaterial risk. Lessons learnt from completed nanotoxicology studies: potential solutions to current and future challenges. Crit Rev Toxicol. 43(1):1-20

Ecotoxicology of nanomaterials

  • Nielsen, H.D., Berry, L.S., Stone, V., Fernandes, T.F. (2008) Interactions between carbon black nanoparticles and the brown algae Fucus serratus: inhibition of fertilization and zygotic development. Nanotoxicology2(2), 88-97.
  • Rosenkranz, P., Chowdry, Q., Stone, V., Fernandes, T.F. (2009) A comparison of nanoparticle and fine particle uptake by Daphnia magna. Environmental Tox. and Chemistry28(10): 2142–2149.
  • Scown, T.M., Santos, E.M., Johnston, B.D., Gaiser, B.K., Baalousha, M., Mitov, S., Lead, J.R., Stone, V., Fernandes, T.F., Jepson, M., van Aerle, R., Tyler, C.R. (2010). Effects of Aqueous Exposure to Silver Nanoparticles of Different Sizes in Rainbow Trout. Toxicological Sciences. 115 (2), 521-534.
  • Dams, R.I., Biswas, A., Olesiejuk, A., Fernandes, T.F., Christofi, N. (2011). Silver nanotoxicity using a light-emitting biosensor Pseudomonas putida isolated from a wastewater treatment plant. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 195, 68-72.
  • Gaiser, B.K., Biswas, A., Rosenkranz, P., Jepson, M., Lead, J.R., Stone, V., Tyler, C.R., Fernandes, T.F. (2011).  Effects of silver and cerium dioxide micro- and nano-sized particles on Daphniamagna. Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 13(5), 1227-35.
  • Gaiser, B.K., Fernandes, T.F., Jepson, M.A., Lead, J.R., Tyler, C.R., Baalousha, M., Biswas, A., Britton, G.J., Cole, P.A., Johnston, B.D., Ju-Nam, Y., Rosenkranz, P., Scown, T.M., Stone, V. (2012) Interspecies comparisons on the uptake and toxicity of silver and cerium dioxide nanoparticles. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 31(1): 144-54.
  • Al-Shaeri, M., Ahmed, D., Mc Cluskey, F., Turner, G., Paterson, L., Dyrynda, E. A.,Hartl, M. G. J. (2013). Potentiating toxicological interaction of single-walled carbon nanotubes with dissolved metals. 32: 2701-2710