Nanolecture Series 2020-2021

April 20, 2021

Ninell MortensenDr. Ninell P. Mortensen

Research Biologist in Analytical Chemistry and Pharmaceutics, RTI International

Tim FennellDr. Timothy R. Fennell

Director of Analytical Chemistry and Pharmaceutics, RTI International

Nanomaterial Exposure – Uptake, Distribution, and Biological Responses

 Date: April 20, 2021
Time: 1:00-2:00 pm Eastern Time

Lecture to be hosted on Zoom.
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 Abstract: Little is known about what role age and gender plays in the uptake, distribution, and biological responses of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). Thus, evaluating the effects of ENM exposure in male and female animals at different ages and physiological states is essential for understanding the potential risks posed by ENM use. We will present a variety of approaches for tracking ENMs, our findings for different classes of ENMs (metal and metal oxide and carbon-based), and discuss the potential health impact of emerging nanomaterials like nanoplastics. Both ENM physiochemical properties (PCPs), the animal’s age, gender, and physiological state (pregnant vs non-pregnant) plays a role in the ENM induced alterations of the biochemical profile in biological fluids and tissues and perturbations of metabolic pathways. In developing rats, our findings for metal and metal oxide ENM oral exposure demonstrate interference with cardiac performance, neurobehavioral assessments, brain biochemistry, and metabolic pathways, and in addition to ENM PCPs and age at exposure, we also found that some biological responses occurred in a gender-specific manner. Together our findings for different classes of ENMs in rodents of different gender, ages, and physiological states emphasize the complexity in understanding short- and long-term health risks of nanomaterials at different life stages.

Biographical Sketch for Dr. Ninell P. Mortensen: Dr. Mortensen is a Research Biologist in Analytical Chemistry and Pharmaceutics (ACP) at RTI International. Her main area of research is the interactions between nanomaterial and biological systems focusing on the potential impact of exposure on human health, especially during early life. For the past 10 years, she has utilized in vitro models representing organ systems and biological barriers in combination with microscopy, cytotoxicity, and molecular assays to understand the biological effects of exposure.

Biographical Sketch for Dr. Timothy R. Fennell: Dr. Fennell is the Director of Analytical Chemistry and Pharmaceutics (ACP) at RTI International. For the past 35 years, his research has focused on understanding uptake, distribution and metabolism of chemicals, and their effects in vivo. Dr. Fennell has worked in the field of nanotoxicology for more than 15 years, and has investigated the uptake, distribution and persistence and effects of nanomaterials in rodents.


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